Maryland ranks second in the nation in the latest Truth in Accounting fiscal transparency report.

The report tracks the publication of financial information from states and awards a score based on the timeliness of the release of information and the ease with which the public can review the information.

Truth in Accounting said that overall scores have declined from previous years, citing the pandemic as a contributing factor.

“CARES Act funding response to COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted weak spots in states’ unemployment insurance fund,” the report reads, “causing several states to receive poor scores.”

The report cited other factors preventing states from receiving better scores, such as not using updated pension information. The report uses the Government Financial Officers Association’s standard of reports being published 180 days after the end of the fiscal year.

Maryland scored 87 out of a possible 100 points for the report.

The state received 50 points for receiving a clean auditor opinion for FY20 and scored five points for deterred items. The state received 10 points for off-balance sheet liabilities, five points for the timeliness, three points for accessibility, four for navigation, five for using external auditors, and five points for pension data funding.

Maryland was the only state in the 2020 reports to provide up-to-date pension information.

Colorado was named the least transparent state in the nation by TIA, receiving a score of 46. Connecticut and Vermont were the most improved states, each increasing their score by 25 points from the previous year due to having large pension plans annual reports and receiving clean audit scores. Utah earned the highest score with an 88.

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Brent Addleman

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers...

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