KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2010) -- Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett ordered dramatic cuts in the number of Knox County purchasing cards, and directed the County’s Information Technology Department to develop a searchable purchasing database in order to significantly increase the level of transparency in the County’s electronic purchasing practices. Recognizing that change should begin at the top, Mayor Burchett cancelled all cards assigned to his administrative office.
Mayor Burchett announced Monday that more than 75 purchasing cards have been cancelled. He also unveiled the new online searchable transaction database, which allows users to search all transactions made with a county purchasing card. The cards themselves are also being renamed to “Electronic Commerce Cards” in order to better represent their purpose.
“It is important to take serious steps to ensure that these cards are being used properly, and part of that is getting rid of unnecessary cards,” Mayor Burchett said. “As important, though, is the fact that we’re bringing true transparency to this process with our new searchable transaction database, which is now available to the public online.”
The database can be found at http://www.knoxcounty.org/purchasing/ecc.php, and allows citizens to sort and search all Electronic Commerce Card transactions.
“You can see when a transaction occurred, whose card was used, how much it was for and who the vender was,” Mayor Burchett said. “This can all be done without having to call someone on the phone or appear in person to request the public information this database provides.”
The 63 cards cut within the executive branch account for nearly 83 percent of the overall countywide reduction in e-commerce cards. Thirteen cards from other elected officials and non-executive departments have also been cancelled. Six of the remaining executive branch cards are used to make recurring contract payments only.
“I’m going to make sure that we are efficient with these cards, provide good service to our citizens, and save taxpayers’ money whenever we can,” Mayor Burchett said. “It keeps coming back to those core principles of service, efficiency and savings.”