State of Alaska Payroll Database Launched

Executive Director Jeremy Thompson explains why Alaska government transparency is a worthy cause.

Executive Director Jeremy Thompson explains Why Alaska Government Transparency is a Worthy Cause

Here at the Alaska Policy Forum we believe that transparency is always the best public policy. As the state’s only free-market think tank, we believe transparency is the key to a more educated, involved, and successful Alaska. We believe that public record information should be readily available to the public, so that decisions can be made in a context of accountability.

Are your tax dollars being leveraged effectively? Are federal, state, and municipal programs reaching the goals promised by various administrations? Are the desired results measureable? These are the questions that we want the average voter to ask.

When it comes to state employment, it can be difficult for the average voter to get their minds around the costs. Recognizing this, Alaska Policy Forum has collected payroll data from the State of Alaska, the Municipality of Anchorage, and the Anchorage School District and – for the first time – this information is available to Alaskans in one on-line location. Why did APF gather thousands of pages of public record documents and present them to the public? It was not, as some have suggested, to expose hard-working Alaskans and have the ultimate ‘gotcha’ moment. In case you need further proof, both my wife and my mother-in-law’s salaries are now listed online – and any married man will tell you nothing is worth jeopardizing his relationship with his mother-in-law.

No. We tackled this project because we are committed to transparency and to fostering a more educated, involved, and successful Alaska. The time for the fiscal conversation is now: Current government spending is at levels that are unprecedented in our state’s history.

Our hope is that Alaskans will review the information provided here and educate themselves on Alaska’s fiscal situation, that they will call their legislators, their assemblyperson and their PTA and let them know what they want to see happen. Voters are a very persuasive people when they act. Our state’s future and our children’s future – yours and mine – depend upon it.

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