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Changes under way to increase government transparency

Oklahoma City_Changes are under way that are intended to improve how Oklahoma provides information online that discloses corporate tax breaks and lobbying activities.

The state fared poorly in a recent national report on government transparency. It scored well on information about procurement contracts, received an average grade on lobbying information and got a zero on listing government tax breaks.  Good Jobs First is a Washington-based policy resource organization that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development.

The group gave Oklahoma an "F'' and ranked the state 31st.  In the tax-break/subsidy disclosure category, good jobs first gave 40 states an "F,'' including Oklahoma.  The state's ranking should improve after January 1st, when a tax-break and government spending disclosure web site is set to launch.

The measure, called the Taxpayer Transparency Act, requires the state finance office to create and maintain a web site upon which people can view how state money is used.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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