Transparency: Vienna deserves praise for audit participation

Vienna residents and officials should be thrilled the city will be part of a pilot project with the state to improve transparency.

West Virginia Auditor J.B. McCuskey’s Project Mountaineer will allow reporting and transparency software to work with the city’s existing systems to give both officials and residents a window into revenue and spending.

“It’s going to be a fantastic tool for us,” Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said.

While transparency is important — and residents should make use of the finished product — another goal of Project Mountaineer is to increase efficiency and consistency.

It is important to understand Vienna’s participation in this pilot project is not the result of any problems. The project is being rolled out in 16 other cities across the Mountain State.

“Aging technology and manual financial reporting processes have made it difficult to understand, collect, analyze and disseminate financial data between West Virginia cities and the state,” McCuskey said.

As Rapp pointed out, this means openness and access — even perhaps including access to documents that might once have required Freedom of Information Act requests.

That is good news for us all, and we glad to see Vienna among those cities leading the way.