Secretary of State
Grayson Launches New Service to Increase Transparency of Kentucky State Government

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 23, 2009  
Contact Information:  Les Fugate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Office of the Secretary of State
Office: (502) 564-3490
Cell: (502) 229-3803
Les.Fugate@ky.gov
 


(Frankfort, KY)  Want to know what’s going on in Kentucky State Government?  It is now easier than ever to find out the executive actions in state government thanks to a new notification system launched by Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson.  Constituents can now sign up to receive email notifications or Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds to know when an official action of the Governor has been taken via the Governor’s Executive Journal.  The service is part of Secretary Grayson’s Check it Out Kentucky! initiative designed to bring greater accountability for government to all citizens of Kentucky.

“My office has worked diligently over the last five years to make state government transparent and accessible,” said Secretary of State Trey Grayson.  “We now make millions of documents available online with nearly all new filings made available in near real time.”

The new service is free and allows constituents to receive emails either at the time each action is taken, or on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  Constituents can also use RSS readers so that the information is displayed on websites and personal homepages. 

This notification service follows the launch of corporate and enacted legislation notification services last fall and in February, respectively.  The corporate notification services allows citizens to receive an automatic notification any time there is a change in the record of a business entity that is filed with the Secretary of State, while the enacted legislation service allows citizens to receive notifications about the final actions take by the Governor on pieces of legislation.  The notification systems were developed in-house by Office of the Secretary of State programmers at no additional cost to the Commonwealth.

“Transparency allows citizens to hold government accountable for its actions.  By giving citizens tools such as these notification services, we allow them to hold government to even higher standards than before,” noted Grayson.  “In the end, the beneficiaries of this service are Kentucky taxpayers.”

Grayson was the first Secretary of State in Kentucky to make the Governor’s Journal available online in 2004 during the term of former Governor Ernie Fletcher.  At that time, citizens could go online to search, in near real-time, documents filed in the Governor’s executive journal.  The online portion of the Executive Journal contains entries of official acts of the Governor that do not contain sensitive personal information including appointments, proclamations, and reorganizations.

In addition to providing more transparency, this new service will also reduce the amount of staff time dedicated to providing copies of the Governor’s executive orders or responding to requests about when filings occur. 

“These changes will not only serve as a great benefit to the constituents of our office, but they will allow us to use our personnel more efficiently in the wake of the deep cuts our office has experienced over the last 15 months,” remarked Grayson.

During Grayson’s tenure in office, he has rapidly become known as an innovator and transparency champion.  Since Grayson took office five years ago, the Office has launched over 25 new online services or upgrades to further those missions.  Now, a vast majority of services that the Office provides can be found online. 

Currently, three million documents are available on the Secretary of State’s website.  Earlier this year, Grayson launched FastTrack, an online business registration system that reduces the number of days it takes for companies to begin conducting business in Kentucky.  Last year, Grayson’s office became the first state office in Kentucky to put all of its spending online so that citizens can see how their tax dollars are being spent.

Grayson has progressively reduced the size and cost of the office during his term.  Since Grayson assumed office in 2004, the office has reduced its number of full-time employees by 12.20%, eliminated nearly all part-time employees, reduced its operating budget by 9.79%, and consolidated the number of physical offices from two to one.

“It is our responsibility to provide the most efficient and accessible service, in the most environmentally friendly way possible,” said Secretary Grayson.  “The changes we have made to this office are the kind of transformations that government should be making in the 21st Century, where we do more with less by creating a 24-hour a day online service center.”


To register for the new services, please visit www.sos.ky.gov/notificationservices.

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