BALTIMORE COUNTY — A new online tool called “Open Checkbook” will now allow users to view Baltimore County expenditures down to the individual check level.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski said this new tool will increase the level of transparency to county spending, something he said is important to do for all people of Baltimore County.
“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.”
The Open Checkbook tool shows that so far in 2020, the county has spent $922.56 million. Public Works,Sewer System, and Debt Services are the three departments receiving the most of that money.
Prior to Open Checkbook, the county released in June 2019, the 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, 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 www.checkbook.baltimorecountymd.gov.