BATON ROUGE, LA — December 12, 2018 — This morning, Mayor Broome announced the launch of Open Checkbook BR, a new companion website to the City-Parish’s Open Data BR portal that provides users with checkbook-level expenditure data for City-Parish departments, services, and programs. The website’s launch represents one of the final open data releases for 2018 in alignment with the City-Parish’s open data policy, adopted by Mayor Broome and the Metro Council in late 2017.
“When it comes to the effectiveness of government agencies, data is everything — both in how we use data to improve upon our programs, services, and operations, and in how it is shared with the public to promote transparency and create even greater efficiencies in the process,” said Mayor Broome. “With Open Checkbook BR, we are providing unprecedented levels of insight into how we spend taxpayer dollars to deliver the high-quality services that citizens expect from their City-Parish government, while setting a standard for how other government agencies across Louisiana and beyond can achieve similar levels of transparency.”
Open Checkbook BR, accessible online at http://checkbook.brla.gov, allows users to easily understand all levels of City-Parish departmental spending down to the “check level” in a manner that is consistent with open data standards used across the nation and around the world. The site is structured to make it easy and intuitive for citizens to track how tax dollars are spent – from total spending and transactions across all City-Parish departments, to department-level spending and various types of expense categories, to top vendors in terms of overall expenditures. In addition to providing users with the capability to drill down into various expense categories at the individual vendor level, users can also view a summary of vendor-specific spending or individual checks that have been issued to vendors for services. The Open Checkbook BR system is updated on a nightly basis with new vendor transactions, including new checks, wire transfers, and purchasing card payments made to City-Parish vendors. The data originates from the City-Parish’s new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which recently replaced 20-year-old disparate financial and procurement systems with one centrally integrated resource management system.
In addition to the expenditure data that is now available through Open Checkbook BR, the City-Parish’s Open Data BR portal provides open access to datasets ranging from police, fire, traffic, and animal control incidents and employee salary data to 311 requests for service and property assessments.
For more information and to access Open Checkbook BR, visit http://checkbook.brla.gov. To access the City-Parish’s Open Data BR portal, visit http://data.brla.gov.