“Texas Officials Gave $270M in Bonuses with Few Rules, Little Oversight”
October 24, 2015
Through the open records law, data analysis and hard-nosed reporting, the American-Statesmen revealed all bonus payments to all Texas directors, employees and political staff. The Statesman analysis revealed a widespread lack of accountability in how directors doled out large bonuses, often to friends and political allies. It also revealed that high-powered politicians, such as Gov. Rick Perry and the former land commissioner, gave lucrative bonuses to their close advisers just as they left office. This data had never been analyzed or made public before, so the Statesman provided the public with a searchable database by which members of the public and government employees can search total bonuses given to employees, along with their salaries. The story prompted a series of spin-off stories at other publications and spurred calls for legislative action. The state agency which kept the data but had never analyzed it now has a formal process for releasing this valuable information to media and the public.
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Submitted by J. David McSwane.