Augusta Free Press

Cuccinelli puts AG office budget online for public review

Looks like somebody’s back hard at it in the office. Ken Cuccinelli, still attorney general for a few more weeks, today unveiled a program to put his office budget on the web for public inspection.

Cuccinelli, who came under fire recently for spending the bulk of his time this year on the gubernatorial campaign trail and not in the office doing his $150,000-a-year taxpayer-funded job, said the new transparency webpage created by his office, entitled “View Office of the Attorney General Expenditures,” will allow the public to view the budget and expenses of the attorney general’s office line item by line item.

“This information was always available for the public to review through Freedom of Information Act requests, but in keeping with my commitment to government transparency, I wanted to give our citizens even easier access to this information by putting everything online,” Cuccinelli said. “My information technology and finance teams have been working for months to create something that was concise and understandable.

“Our citizens deserve to know how government spends their money on their behalf. This is all part of being accountable to the taxpayers.”

The budget data is from July 2011 through the last complete quarter, September 2013.  Figures are broken down on a quarterly basis, but the second phase of the project (targeted for December) will provide more detailed, monthly data for the most recent fiscal years.

Cuccinelli and Del. ben cline (R-Rockbridge) authored and passed legislation in the 2009 General Assembly session to put the “checkbooks” of all agencies online for citizens to access. Those checkbooks reside at the Auditor of Public Accounts’ Commonwealth Datapoint website and show individual expenditures by agency.

The AG’s website works in conjunction with the Datapoint site and includes a link to it, but takes it a few steps further and puts all the expenses in perspective by showing them in the context of the entire office budget.