Good news came out of the California capitol this week, with the Fair Political Practices Commission set to release a mobile app that could help California lawmakers track and disclose political gifts.
The app would allow for the reporting of gifts and donations in real-time, with the potential to not only accurately record special interest gifts, but prevent lawmakers from exceeding the $440 annual limit per source.
Voters have a right to know about expenditures coming from special interest groups, a point made clear by the FPPC's Political Reform Act. By making records of special interest gifts available to the public, the Gift Tracker app would better enable lawmakers to comply with the state's Political Reform Act, which, among other things, is designed to assure that "activity of those who lobby the state legislature is regulated and finances disclosed to prevent improper influence on public officials."
The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert reported Wednesday that the Gift Tracker App will be initially available only for Google devices, with hopes of eventually hitting the market for iPhones and iPads.
This is big news, not only for politicos in California, but for technology. With California lawmakers constantly on their mobile devices, the incorporation of technology into the mundane task of disclosure puts transparency at the forefront of innovation.