Boston’s ‘checkbook’ will soon be available online

c865b6a79b984e2719f3d260871ddd0c

Mayor Thomas M. Menino last night announced plans to share the city’s financial data through its open government portal, initially launched in October 2012.

Over the next few months, city officials will make more financial data available through the portal in the form of an online “checkbook,” which will show itemized city spending with details like vendor name, date of payment, and city department responsible for the expenditure.

The open government portal aims to improve engagement across city government and continues to expand in an effort to help connect Boston residents with city data, according to spokeswoman for Menino. Through the portal, visitors can already search for civic data, visualize data with interactive maps, review city performance, and partner with the city to develop and pilot new programs.

Last spring, state officials cracked open its checkbook online.

“The City of Boston is committed to an open government strategy. For us, it’s all about deepening the connection between residents and government,” Mayor Menino said. “That’s why we launched our open government portal in 2012 and continue our work to build out the platform.”
 
The Mayor’s announcement follows a report recently released by MASSPIRG Education Fund, which reviewed and graded the nation’s 30 largest cities on how effectively they allow the public to track budgets, contracting, subsidies, grants and requests for quality-of-life services. According to a press release issued by MASSPIRG, Boston’s “lack of checkbook-level city spending information” allowed room for improvement, and resulted in a “D -” grade.
 
“The City recognizes the need to make financial data available to the public. Now that we have upgraded our financial system, the time is right to increase the amount of available data,” said Meredith Weenick, chief financial officer. “We’re confident these efforts will qualify Boston for MASSPIRG’s Honor Roll this spring – and get us to the top of next year’s report.”
 
The MASSPIRG Report did credit the City’s work in delivering leading transparency tools, such as Citizens Connect and Boston About Results, that support city service delivery and government performance tracking.  
 
“With the Mayor’s support, we have been able to improve our engagement with the public through innovative uses of technology,” said Bill Oates, Chief Information Officer. “It has helped us create useful connections between our data and the stakeholders that benefit from using the data. We look forward to creating more of those connections.”
 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in…

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime of Game 4

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 14-5

Felix Doubront struggles for second time in five starts

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.