The city of Atlanta plans to launch a tool that will allow residents to track city spending this summer.
The tool, called Open Checkbook, is aimed at increasing government transparency amid a continuing federal investigation into the city’s procurement department.
Speaking in front of hundreds of employees inside Atlanta City Hall’s atrium, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the new online portal would make it easier for the public to access city budgets, expenditures, salaries and contracts with vendors, according to a press release.
“Open Checkbook will allow residents and taxpayers to see exactly where their money is being spent, not just how it is budgeted. I believe this will serve Atlanta well and go a long way in helping our residents reestablish trust in city government,” Bottoms said in the statement.
Raw data, historical trends and projected expenses would be searchable, according to the release.
Publishing all city expenses has been advocated for by Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, who released a statement supporting the tool.
“I am very pleased and excited that Atlanta is moving toward an online checkbook process that will advance our goals of transparency. This has been an issue of great importance to me for over four years,” Moore said. “I’m excited Atlanta will move forward with being transparent and I’m hopeful we will soon find ourselves among the top cities that have made this very important issue a priority. I want to commend the mayor for her leadership on this issue and I applaud the mayor’s initiative.”
Open Checkbook has been used by other municipal and state governments including Dallas, Austin, Washington D.C., New York and Massachusetts.