December 02, 2020 Baltimore County
Olszewski Unveils Open Checkbook Platform in Latest Effort to Promote Transparency
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today unveiled the Open Checkbook tool, a critical new expansion for Baltimore County’s Open Budget platform, which will allow users to view County expenditures down to the individual check level.
“Our residents deserve to know exactly how their money is spent, and this new tool will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to County spending,” Olszewski said. “Transparency and accountability lead to an effective government, which is why we will continue to seek new ways to shine a light on Baltimore County operations.”
Released in June 2019, the County’s Open Budget tool offers detailed information about the County’s budget for the first time, bringing a new level of transparency to how the County spends taxpayer dollars. With the first phase of the program, users could explore the County budget or search for specific programs and services on revenue and expenditures, including both operating and capital expenses. The Open Budget tool has been updated to include the most recent actual expenditures from Fiscal Year 2020 for the user to compare against adopted amounts.
The new tool unveiled today, Open Checkbook, expands the existing Open Budget tool by providing detailed information about payments to vendors made for Fiscal Year 2020. With the new interactive tool, users can now identify which vendors the County pays for various projects and services and how much they are paid.
This is the latest effort from the administration to create a more transparent and accountable government for Baltimore County. Olszewski created BCSTAT, Baltimore County's first data-driven performance management program, which aims to improve performance, ensure data quality, enhance transparency and increase accountability across government.
In addition to launching Open Budget, the Olszewski administration has introduced a growing set of resources for residents that provide greater transparency, including:
- An interactive crime data dashboard showing all Part I Crime Data,
- An interactive data dashboard displaying detailed policing information outlining the number and disposition of complaints against police officers and instances of uses of force.
- A number of downloadable raw data-sets related to numerous government functions and services.
The Open Checkbook tool is available at: http://checkbook.baltimorecountymd.gov.