Montgomery County has launched a new website which is designed to provide residents and businesses with unprecedented access to raw spending data.
The website, spending.data.montgomerycountymd.gov, which was announced yesterday by County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council Member Hans Riemer. The site also offers interactive features to help users better understand how the County spends public funds. The financial transparency tool is the latest step taken by Montgomery County to connect residents with important public data and continues the County’s role as a national leader in open data and data-driven government.
“We are committed to open government, and to transparency, in everything we do,” said Leggett. “The SpendingMontgomery website is a big step forward for us. We want to give our residents better access to all the information available to them. And, we want people to be able to dig down, access source data and find answers.”
SpendingMontgomery allows the public to better understand spending data through guided views, simple search navigations, and visualizations using charts, graphs, and tables.
“The new SpendingMontgomery initiative is a groundbreaking application of the open data vision, and I applaud the County Executive and his team for bringing it forward," said Riemer. "This is the kind of innovation in government services that I hoped would result from establishing both an open data policy and a strong collaboration with the Executive Branch to implement the vision. Budget and spending data is complex, but Montgomery County, in partnership with our vendor, Socrata, has managed to take the raw data and make it accessible, understandable and meaningful. This level of financial transparency will set a new standard for government organizations."
The government web site allows citizens to access, analyze and understand how the County spends money, who spends it, what it is spent on and with whom the county does business.
The new website follows the launch of budget.data.montgomerycountymd.gov, which helps residents understand how the County budget is structured. budgetMontgomery has rich content – including charts, graphs and maps – that enables people to view the County budget from different levels, including what the County budgets for services, departments, programs and capital improvement programs.
“We believe that, taken together, these two sites represent a data model for other governments around the country that are seeking to become more open and transparent,” said Victoria Lewis, dataMontgomery project manager. “Like so many other jurisdictions, we want to provide a complete and detailed picture of our finances, and this means we have to go beyond rows and columns of numbers to really connect with our residents.”