Gov. Bob Riley signed an executive order in February to put the state's finances online. His office likens the Web site to a checkbook register that lets you see every check written by the state.
If the state approves a check to a local sheriff, you can search his name and it will pop up.
If the state pays a Colbert County circuit judge his regular monthly paycheck, you can find out how much he made.
Want to know which local businesses are getting state funds for their goods and services? Visit Open Alabama.
Much of the information found on this Web site isn't a surprise. For example, taxpayers may already know how much the state is paying a sheriff each month to feed prisoners or how much a judge makes each year.
But information sheds light, and light is a great way to encourage bureaucrats and politicians to act with integrity when it comes to state funds.