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Mayor Bowser Launches OpenBudget.dc.gov to Enhance Transparency, Announces Creation of Open Government Officer Position

Friday, May 13, 2016
Officer to lead District FOIA process improvements, online portal to provide deep-dive into District budgets

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser launched openbudget.dc.gov to provide greater insight and transparency into the District government’s budget, going back to Fiscal Year 2012. The portal is yet another step by the Bowser Administration to improve accountability at every level of government. The Mayor also announced the creation of an Open Government Officer position in her executive office to support agency compliance with the Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act.

The launch of openbudget.dc.gov and the establishment of Open Government Officer are part of the administrations ongoing effort to improve transparency in District Government and are part of InnoMAYtion, Mayor Bowser’s month-long initiative that showcases DC’s innovation ecosystem.

“Since day one, I have been clear that this government is the peoples’ government. Openbudget.dc.gov delivers the kind of transparency our community deserves,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Soon I will also bring on an Open Government Officer to ensure that we are doing our part to comply with FOIA and Open Meeting requirements—and demonstrating our commitment to transparency in District government.”

Openbudget.dc.gov offers a deep dive into the District’s operational and capital budget, providing more detail on expenditures currently offered in the annual budget books. The District will update the site quarterly, in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s revenue forecasts. 

In addition, openbudget.dc.gov will include historical data, from the Fiscal Year 2012 through the 2017 proposed budget.The user-friendly portal allows data to be downloaded, shared on social media, and merged into a range of charts and graphs. The content is clustered into the following categories: Governmental Direction and Support, Economic Development and Regulation, Public Safety and Justice, Public Education System, Human Support Services, Public Works, and Financing and Other. 

Openbudget.dc.gov charts expenditures by year, and by expense category. Users do not need to log in to view data.  However, any user interested in bookmarking or saving data will need to create a profile.  First-time visitors to the site should allow for a slight delay as the site loads the expansive amount of data. Subsequent visits to the site will promptly load. 

Established by Mayoral Order, the Open Government Officer post will be filled through the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments. The position will include providing training to agency FOIA officers, respond to inquiries from FOIA officers, promote the consistent interpretation and implementation of FOIA, and work with other executive agencies in the standardizing FOIA databases, responses, and internal training materials.

Today’s announcement is part of the second annual innoMAYtion, an effort by Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to use technology as a tool for innovation across government.