Putting more information online and requiring fewer written reports would help increase Michigan government’s transparency and accountability, according to one Mackinac Center analyst.

Ken Braun, director of the Center’s “Show Michigan The Money” project, told The Detroit News that the state “should put more raw data online,” and “produce fewer but much more useful and high quality reports.”

The News reported that the Legislature now requires state employees to produce about 800 reports each year on how money is spent, up from about 375 a decade ago.

Braun said interested taxpayers are “savvy enough with commonly used programs such as Microsoft Excel to produce their own reports tailored to their own needs,” if the state would put the information online.

Officials claim it would cost $150 million to put all of the spending data online, although Braun disagrees.

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