About a million to maintain governmental transparency

April 21, 2010 

Perdue figures that a cleaner government costs money.

Her budget proposal includes nearly $1 million that would fund efforts for "setting government straight," as she put it.

The bulk of the money, $750,000, would expand ane-mail archive system meant to ensure that state employees' e-mail messages are saved and searchable. Perdue also proposed $548,000 for the State Ethics Commission. The additional money would create a system to allow officials to file ethics disclosures online and add staff and resources to ensure the commission can quickly investigate complaints.

Perdue proposed giving the State Board of Elections $450,000 to implement software to help track campaign finances. The money would help pay for a new lawyer to help the board keep an eye on campaign finance issues. Former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley was fined $100,000 last year for failing to disclose campaign flights from supporters, and Perdue has audited her own finances and found 31 previously undisclosed flights.

Republican candidates and committees have also had what appear to be missing information in their campaign finance reports.

Staff writer Benjamin Niolet

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