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Public can search state payments on website

ALBANY - State payments to vendors, municipalities, school districts and others are now available at Open Book New York (www.openbooknewyork.com), a transparency website launched in 2008. Data is updated daily to include approximately 10,000 new payments the Comptroller's office processes each business day.

"Albany too often does business behind closed doors," State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. "We're trying to open the books and let the public see where their tax dollars are going. By making millions of state payments available to the public and thousands more each day, there is also greater accountability with public funds."

The new state payment data includes the agency submitting the payment request, payment recipient, the payment amount and the date the payment was made. Medicaid payments, payroll payments and some payments to individuals, such as tax refunds and crime victims, are not included in the database for privacy reasons.

Open Book New York also contains online search tools that include detailed revenue, spending, debt and property tax cap information for 3,100 local governments. Nearly 50,000 state contracts and amendments can also be searched, along with major spending areas for state agencies. Most data is updated daily and can be easily downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet or PDF. Additional updates are expected this spring.

As the state's fiscal watchdog, DiNapoli is responsible for processing all state payments, reviewing tens of billions in state contracts annually and monitoring local government finances.