Topeka Opens Window for Citizens with Open Budget App
Last year, Topeka’s city budget was squirreled away in a 200-page document shared on the city’s web site.
Now the budget exists as an interactive, data-rich treasure trove tailored specifically for the citizens of Topeka.
Just three days before Topeka’s 2016 proposed budget was announced, city leaders unveiled Socrata’s Open Budget app to provide greater transparency and offer easier access to information on how tax dollars are being spent in the capital city. You can check it out here.
“Transparency is providing context and answering questions,” said Topeka city manager Jim Colson. “It’s making the information accessible and user-friendly. That’s what we are trying to do with the Open Budget Portal initiative.”
Six months in the making, the new portal includes detailed financial information on both the city’s operating budget and also the five-year capital improvement plan.
We recommend watching Topeka’s great tutorial and overview of their portal, where you can see the app in action:
The goal, said city budget manager Nickie Lee, is for the portal to “supplement what we’ve always done” in terms of providing budget information to the public, only making it easier for people to access from their own computers.
We hope it surpasses every expectation for city officials and citizens alike.