The transparency of Colorado's budget process: Is it open, understandable and accessible to Coloradans?
Our objective in preparing this report is to help promote a serious dialogue among members of the public, State officeholders and budget staff, and the media about improving the way fiscal policy decisions are made in Colorado. Recommendations are made to stimulate discussion about various alternatives to our current process.
Different budget experts and organizations of budget professionals throughout the United States and the world have come up with remarkably consistent criteria to evaluate and grade budget transparency in the public sector. It is this criteria that was used to assess Colorado’s budget process. As will be seen, these criteria do not gauge whether budget specialists or “insiders” can understand what is going on. Instead, they measure whether the average Coloradan can do so. Transparency does not question the advisability of particular budget decisions, but rather the extent to which an interested person can follow, provide input to, understand, and evaluate such decisions.
Released October 2003