New website to detail UW, state government expenditures

March 7, 2013

The state Department of Administration will launch a new website this spring, OpenBook Wisconsin, designed to provide public access to state agency expenditure information.

Below is a message DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch has written to all state employees about OpenBook Wisconsin. For more information on the OpenBook site, go here.

Good morning,

This spring, the State plans to launch its expenditure disclosure website called OpenBook Wisconsin. This website is part of Governor Walker's on-going effort to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

OpenBook Wisconsin will give citizens easy access to State of Wisconsin expenditures, or the amount of money we spend to do business. It includes the payments we have made for purchasing goods or services, and we currently include data about the expenditures made by state government from fiscal year 2008 through the most current month. You will be able to search the website database by state agency, expense (expenditure) category and vendor by fiscal year.

Employee salary and fringe benefit data will not be included in this first phase, although employee names may appear in the initial launch if they have received reimbursement for travel or other work expenses. Please see below for more details.

Future Phases

To comply with state law, we will be adding employee salary and fringe payments data for the State, University of Wisconsin, Legislature and the courts in the coming months. We will also be adding the grants that have been awarded, as well as the contracts that our state agencies have with vendors.

  • Employee salary and fringe benefits: salary information is public under state law. The website will include employees on central payroll including name, agency, class, gross pay, and year to date gross pay. Fringe benefits data will be provided in total, and not listed by individual employees to protect your confidentiality in your health care plan.
  • Grants made or contracts entered into: will include capital projects by fiscal year, as well as VendorNet contracts by fiscal year.

Employee Information

We are taking precautions to protect sensitive employee information. The OpenBook Wisconsin website will not post the social security number, home address or home telephone number of any employee. Transactions will show the employee’s agency.

Your safety is our priority while we meet our legal obligations to provide public information under state law. While there are very limited reasons which justify the redaction of an employee name under the law, we are taking efforts to redact names that would potentially jeopardize an employee's safety (for example: an undercover agent or domestic abuse victim).

If you have concerns that your safety may be jeopardized by including your name on the website, please contact your Human Resources Director. Your agency will work with legal counsel to determine if your name should be redacted.

We are excited about this opportunity to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

Thank you,

Mike Huebsch

Secretary