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Website tells all: salaries to state contracts


Cash and CoinsBy Kathy Canavan

An updated website dubbed Transparent Delaware is a treasure trove of easy-to-access business information and just plain gossip.

  • Did you ever wonder how many state contracts your competitors are getting?

The state paid vendors $4.7 billion last year, and the site shows which businesses got that state money. That’s valuable information whether you plan to compete against them next year or pitch them your services as a subcontractor this year.

  • Do you want to know why a nursing supervisor earned $60,408 in salary and $148,953 in overtime pay?
  • Curious how much your child’s teacher earns? Or maybe your family-court judge?

The answers to all those questions are easy to find on the website sponsored by the Caesar Rodney Institute, a nonprofit research center in Newark that advocates for transparency in government.

The site now gives you entrée to 8 million records. That includes more than 11 years of state vendor transactions. You can sort them by department, spending category or a specific vendor’s name. You can download them into an Excel file and sort them later.

The site is a resource for firms seeking to win state contracts or increase their slice of state spending on vendors. Suppliers can also identify state vendors who might be good candidates as customers.

To get the data, the Caesar Rodney Institute filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the state Department of Finance, and the department compiled the payroll and vendor data. The institute then hired VisiGov to put the data into a software package users could access with ease.

Stapleford said he was grateful for donations that allowed the institute to hire VisiGov, a Brunswick, Maine, business intelligence firm focused on government transparency.

“What interests me the most is the pattern of vendor payments, said John E. Stapleford, institute president. “You can anticipate the stance of various major businesses on political affairs given how dependent they are on state contracts. There is also, of course, a correlation between the vendor payments and contributions to political campaigns.”

Stapleford said he was also amazed to see the variety of groups who benefit state contracts that you would never anticipate.

The site does not include information on state employees’ pensions because state law requires that pension information be confidential. The institute has been critical of that law because several other states now release state pension information.

The information is posted at Transparent Delaware. Institute staff will demonstrate features of the site for anyone who requests help at 302 273 0080.

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  1. Jamssams July 3, 2018

    I have been trying to access this website, Transparent Delaware, but it is not like it used to be. Can you help with how to get into the website now?

    1. mrocheleau July 3, 2018

      We updated the Transparent Delaware link in the article.


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