Providing Fast, Easy Access to Sedgwick County’s Financials
In Sedgwick County, Kansas, the launch of Open Budget and Open Spending enable residents to quickly and easily access the county’s budget and financial transactions. The apps are linked to the county’s existing financial system. We spoke with Chris Chronis, Chief Financial Officer, about why this big move toward transparency was important for the county’s residents, as well as how it’ll change internal processes.
Socrata: How will Open Budget and Open Expenditures affect Sedgwick County residents?
Chris Chronis: Transparency is vital to gaining citizen support for our activities. The Socrata applications provide our constituents with access to county budget and financial transactions much more easily and faster than is currently possible. Our hope is that Open Budget and Open Expenditures will help reduce the level of skepticism and mistrust of government that exists in part of the community.
Socrata: How will these sites streamline internal processes?
Chronis: While we won’t eliminate our managers’ access to budget and expenditure information in our financial system, I expect the Socrata apps will be used by many as a substitute because it’s faster and easier to obtain historical information.
Socrata: What’s your vision for this program? Where do you hope to see it grow?
Chronis: My vision is of a citizenry that is knowledgeable about what their government is doing with their money. The Socrata apps, by making information so easy to access, should move us in that direction.