Douglas County, KS Launches Open Budget Platform


Douglas County, Kansas has launched a new open budget platform. The county partnered with Socrata for its open data solution to bring the budget online. The portal offers basic information about how revenue comes into the government, where it is allocated and what the overall operating budget is for running the county.

The portal is a bit light on granular information if users want to find out about key contracting relationships maintained by the county or get a sense of what projects might be in the pipeline. The majority of the budget data is represented in bar graphs ranked by areas with the most spending to the least.

In a statement from the county announcing the new portal, few details were offered on how frequently data would be updated or if more information would be added.

“Our vision is that Open Budget will be a regularly visited and utilized application and a valuable source of information for citizens, elected officials, and Douglas County staff,” said County Administrator Craig Weinaug in the statement.

More cities and counties are exploring ways of putting budget data online. New York City, for example, launched Checkbook NYC a few years ago which offers granular spending data on the city’s transactions. Other vendors are also working to make budget data more usable by citizens. ClearGov, for example, offers a tool that allows users to compare data from their city with other cities of a similar size.