Lawmakers push SC colleges to publish spending records

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Transparency is no longer a buzz word; instead it has become a necessity for those in government.

If you don't know what you are spending, says Sen. Mike Rose, you don't have a clue how to save.

It has been more than year since Rose introduced the bill, which would require the state's universities and colleges to publish online spending reports.

With support from Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, the bill is going forward. It has been pre-filed in the Senate.

It is the creation of the internet that has really made what we are dealing with possible, Eckstrom says.

Eckstrom and Rose were joined by other legislators for a press conference Thursday, where they outlined the bill.

It is really something that is needed in this state, says Sen. Hugh Leatherman.

Clemson will make its financial records public starting Monday.

The university is one of a dozen institutions volunteering to post its expenditures on the web as part of a pilot program.

We think that it will promote efficiency and increase productivity, says Clemson TMs Chief Financial Officer Brett Dalton. It will let the public know that we are being good stewards of their dollars.

The site we are assembling will have search engines so that it is not simply data, it is searchable data that can be interpreted by the public, says Vice President William T. Moore for Finance and Planning at USC.

Moore adds that USC will have its site up and running by July 1.

While senators continue to debate the bill, supporters hope more schools will volunteer to post their budgets online.