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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Where the Money Goes Requirements

Issued: Aug. 8, 2007
Updated: Oct 7, 2016 – View Changes

FPP G.004

Overview

Applicable to

State agencies and institutions of higher education

Background

House Bill 3430 enacted by the 80th Legislature required the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to create an online state expenditure database to make state spending transparent to the public by Oct. 1, 2007. The Comptroller’s expenditure database is called Where the Money Goes.

Policies

Link to Where the Money Goes

State agencies and institutions of higher education that have a generally accessible website must include a link to Where the Money Goes on their websites: https://comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/spending/

Confidentiality Requirements

Please see USAS and CAPPS Financials Confidentiality Indicator (FPP E.045).

The liability for the release of confidential information due to an incorrect confidentiality indicator lies with the agency responsible for indicating confidentiality.

Class and Item Reports

To the extent maintained by their accounting systems in a reportable format, agencies and institutions are required to provide the Comptroller’s office quarterly reports on purchases by class and item as defined by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasers (NIGP codes, previously known as TBPC class and item codes). This information is used for the purchasing code search available on Where the Money Goes. Class and item data report transmission instructions are available.

Data Center and Information

The availability of raw data is essential to an accountable and open government. In recognition of this, the Comptroller’s office maintains an Open Data Center as part of its commitment to government transparency. See the Open Data Center on the Comptroller’s website for details.

Legal cite

Texas Government Code, Section 403.024

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Where the Money Goes Check Register Search Tools

The Comptroller’s office implemented the Where the Money Goes online state expenditure database on Oct. 1, 2007, as required by state law. Where the Money Goes is a searchable Web-based database available to the public.

The system includes historical expenditure data from fiscal 2001–2007 at a summary level and from fiscal 2008 forward at a detail level. The retention period is the current year's expenditure information, plus the most recent seven years' information.

Information available to the public for fiscal 2008 forward includes:

  • Transaction amount
  • Date the payment was processed
  • Name of the agency making the payment
  • Name of the payee (company, individual, organization or governmental unit)
  • Object category
  • Comptroller object

The Comptroller’s office does not allow public access to the payee address through the database. In addition, the Comptroller’s office does not allow public access to information identified as confidential in the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) or Financials application of the Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS Financials) by a state agency or institution of higher education. Transactions identified as confidential and employee salaries are included in the database only to provide payment information summarized by comptroller object.

Where the Money Goes payment transaction search tools include detailed data as follows:

Payments made: Maximum level of detail:
Before fiscal 2008 Summarized by comptroller object and agency only
In fiscal 2008 Agency, payee name, object, date and amount unless: Then only agency, object, date and amount are displayed.
In fiscal 2009 and forward Agency, payee name, object, date and amount unless:
  • Transaction is employee salary or
  • USAS confidential indicator field value is Y regardless of comptroller object.
Then only agency, object, date and amount are displayed.

Where the Money Goes also includes search tools for state agency travel expenses and more detailed information about spending at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The TxDOT searches include grant awards, budget and expenditures, and payment transactions.

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Open Data and Information

The Comptroller’s Open Data Center is designed to provide direct, public access to machine-readable, platform-independent data files and a variety of databases, data visualizations and additional data sources about Texas. This effort augments existing reporting systems and makes importing information easier for external users. See the Open Data Center on the Comptroller’s website for details.

Data Catalog

Here is a partial list of the financial data files included:

  • Expenditure details by fiscal year (masking confidential information)
  • Revenue details by fiscal year
  • Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Report
  • Code tables to support financial information such as:
    • Comptroller object
    • Appropriation numbers and titles
    • Appropriated fund numbers and titles

Note: It is vitally important that agencies be diligent in carefully using the transaction-level confidentiality indicator in USAS and CAPPS Financials. Although the Comptroller’s office can accommodate requests to reclassify a transaction as confidential on Where the Money Goes, it may be too late if a large data consumer has already downloaded the information.

External Data

The External Data section of the Data Center features additional data sources and information about Texas. Examples of databases included are the Legislative Budget Board’s “Texas Contracts Searchable Database” and Texas Education Agency’s “TAKS Region, District, and Campus Level Raw Data Files.” State agencies are welcome to submit additional sites to include by filling out this form.

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Confidentiality Indicator Field

To ensure payments in Where the Money Goes are treated correctly with respect to confidentiality, agencies are required to appropriately flag transactions as confidential in USAS and CAPPS Financials. For detailed information about marking USAS transactions confidential, see USAS and CAPPS Financials Confidentiality Indicator (FPP E.045).

Note: The liability for the release of confidential information due to an incorrect confidential indicator lies with the agency submitting the confidential transaction.

Transactions will be treated as follows on Where the Money Goes reports and the Data Center downloads depending on what value an agency enters in the confidentiality indicator field.

Value in USAS Confidentiality Indicator Field* Transaction Display
Transactions are shown individually and include payee name, comptroller object, transaction amount, payment written date and paying agency number.
Y – Yes, transaction is confidential Transaction amounts are combined by paying agency number, comptroller object and payment date. The payee name displays as Confidential.

*Note: When data from CAPPS Financials is uploaded to USAS, the values entered in the Confidentiality Indicator field are converted to the valid values for USAS (Y, S or N).

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Reclassifying Transactions as Confidential

Agencies that submit a transaction and mistakenly fail to mark the transaction as confidential may request the Comptroller’s office to reclassify the transaction as confidential for Where the Money Goes. Please note:

  • This reclassification will apply to the Where the Money Goes database only and not USAS. There is no procedure to adjust USAS history.
  • Reclassification will not apply to information already downloaded from the Data Center.

To send a request to reclassify an expenditure as confidential for Where the Money Goes, please email statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov and include the following information:

  • Your agency name, agency number and agency contact (email and phone)
  • A brief explanation of the confidentiality issue
  • The payee or payees exactly as they appear
  • The comptroller object containing the confidential information
  • The date or date range involved
  • The dollar amount(s)
  • The USAS Document number(s) and any other details to identify the specific records to reclassify

A Comptroller’s office representative will contact you to confirm your request and go over any details.

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Budget and Finance Search Tools

The public can also view:

  • State expenditures against agency budget appropriations using tools developed in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation
  • An estimated vs. actual expenditures report requested by a legislator to provide transparency on the legislative budgeting process

    Note: Agencies can add agency-specific text to the budget and expenditure reports listed below. If you wish to add an explanation for any of the data displayed on your agency’s report, please contact Al Montes at (512) 463-3965 or email statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov.

Budget Lookup Tools available on the Comptroller’s website include:

Search: Updated Daily From:
Agency Budget vs. Actual Expenditures
Shows how an agency’s total spending tracks against its strategy appropriation budgets
USAS appropriation table
Expenditures by Agency Strategy
Compares spending by expenditure category for each agency appropriation
USAS cash expenditures general ledger account
Expenditures by Funding Source
Shows agency spending by expenditure category by appropriated fund
USAS cash expenditures general ledger account

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Class and Item Data Report Transmission Instructions

Some agencies and institutions may need file transfer protocol (FTP) access to upload quarterly reports on purchases by class and item as defined by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasers (NIGP codes, previously known as TBPC class and item codes). This information is used for the purchasing code search available on Where the Money Goes.

Request FTP access from your agency security coordinator. Security coordinators should refer to the Security Coordinator Reference (login required) for instructions.

After the security access has been granted, follow the instructions at Submitting Class and Item Data Report (login required). The data report must be cumulative of the quarters in the current fiscal year.

If you have questions, please contact the Comptroller’s Help Desk at (512) 463-4357.

Changes to this document
10/07/2016 Changed links to reflect rebuild of Comptroller.Texas.Gov
03/14/2016 Updated to reflect USAS and CAPPS Financials Confidentiality Indicator (FPP E.045)
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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