MAYOR HARP INTRODUCES NEW WEBSITE ACCESS TO BUDGET DETAILS AT CITY HALL PRESS EVENT
(2/26/2014) MEANT TO ENHANCE OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY
New Haven – Mayor Toni N. Harp today introduced a new, Web-based tool meant for public use and easier access to city budget information. The Website – http://NewHavenCT.opengov.com/ – features graphs and charts with a broad overview of the city budget and allows visitors to explore and become familiar with individual budgets of separate city departments as well.
Today’s announcement coincides with this week’s deadline for submission of a proposed budget to the city’s Board of Alders. Mayor Harp said today’s rollout is consistent with her goal to make city budget details more accessible to the public and city government more transparent in its operation.
“New Haven has arranged with OpenGov.com to provide colorful charts and graphs to describe all aspects of our budget, with concise descriptions on each page to further explain each individual chart and graph,” Mayor Harp said. “In this way, visitors to the site will be able to familiarize themselves with revenue and spending that’s been approved and is in effect.
Mayor Harp said the city spent less than $1,200 for the program, receiving a steeply discounted price because it was among the very first customers of the California-based software developer, OpenGov. The usual cost for a city of comparable size is $20,000.
“By bringing data to life, New Haven is transforming its budget information into meaningful, actionable form to strengthen its bond with constituents,” said Zachary Bookman, CEO and co-founder of OpenGov. “This is a powerful opportunity to engage residents and strengthen the relationship between government and the community.”
“I want to make it clear: the city’s budget has always been accessible to the public, but always as a lengthy series of line items listed for each city department, each line identified with an intimidating account code.” Mayor Harp added. “So many pages with so much small type sometimes made the budget hard to read and understand – this initiative changes that to make it interactive, user-friendly, and most of all: more readily accessible.”
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