Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Office of State Finance Public Information Office
Office of State Finane Communications Director
OKLAHOMA CITY--The Office of State Finance (OSF) has joined forces with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) to implement legislation passed in 2011 to make it easier for Oklahomans to access state government information online.
A new web portal has been launched to help state agencies submit online publications, documents and forms that then become publicly searchable and available for viewing or downloading.
Visitors to the new Documents.OK.Gov website will immediately have access to online publications and documents gathered by ODL’s Publications Clearinghouse since November 2006. There are currently more than 20,000 state documents in the portal. ODL staff expects an average of 3,000 to 4,000 new state documents will be added to the collection each year.
The new Forms.OK.Gov is also now open as a repository for the variety of forms needed by citizens to conduct state business.
Governor Mary Fallin signed the Transparency, Accountability and Innovation in Oklahoma State Government 2.0 Act (HB 1086) in May 2011. The measure called for a number of initiatives aimed at providing greater access to information for citizens, and assigned responsibility to the Office of State Finance and the Oklahoma Chief Information Officer.
“Our Publications Clearinghouse has been collecting digital state government documents and making them available online for more than five years,” said ODL Director Susan McVey. “It made sense to reach out to OSF and share our particular solution with them.”
In turn, ODL received help from OSF, since that agency was charged with developing a process for state agencies to submit online publications and forms. McVey said finding state publications and documents on the internet had been time intensive for ODL librarians, who had to hunt for new documents to add to its online collection. The submission process now saves library staff valuable time.
“This partnership has been a win-win for both agencies and the public,” said Alex Pettit, who is chief information officer for all state agencies and manages OSF’s Information Services Division. “It’s important to note that we have been able to implement the law making it easier to access a wide array of government information with little new investment of tax dollars.”
ODL also used the partnership to rebrand the library’s digital collections. The new DigitalPrairie.OK.Gov serves as a one-stop shop for online information, including state documents and forms, historic items from ODL collections, Confederate pension index cards, and the statewide reference databases and world library catalog.
The Office of State Finance was renamed the Office of Management and Enterprise Services in legislation signed May 29, 2012, by Gov. Fallin. The bill takes effect on August 24.
The OSF was created in 1947 and has had such statutory duties as building the governor’s executive budget, issuing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, helping agencies manage their accounts, releasing official monthly General Revenue Fund reports and managing the state’s transparency websites.
“This partnership with the ODL furthers the state’s efforts to provide information to its citizens and follows a number of steps to increase state government transparency under the administration of Governor Fallin,” said Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger.
Before its name change, the OSF’s role was greatly expanded in 2011 when four other agencies, including the state’s purchasing agency, were consolidated into the OSF. Another 2011 law transferred virtually all of the state’s technology assets to the OSF’s ISD division under the control of CIO Pettit.
For information on Documents.OK.Gov, contact Gary Phillips in the Oklahoma Publications Clearinghouse at (405) 522-3189.