Aiken County Puts Check Registers, Budgets, Financial Reports Online

January 9, 2010

Investigative Reports

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By: Tony CoffThe Nervearo
Citizen Reporter

Last summer, S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom visited Aiken to thank the city for promoting government transparency and accountability by posting its financial transactions online.

With a little chiding the question was asked: When would Aiken County do the same?

Well, just six months later the county finds itself at the forefront of the government transparency movement in South Carolina. Aiken County’s website includes a link (www.aikencountysc.gov/financial_reporting.php) to financial data that enables citizens to view and access to important information.

Data posted online includes a listing of all accounts-payable transactions, all purchasing transactions, and a chart of accounts to be used in identifying transaction types.

The county has also posted its budget and its most recently audited financial statement.

County officials say they intend to update the information at least monthly and work toward more frequent updates.

Exceptions to what will be posted include what is protected under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act; information pertaining to transactions excluded for economic development activities; and information protected by attorney/client privilege.