March 7, 2023 -- The City of Houston is enhancing the use of technology to engage citizens and increase financial transparency. Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the start of the third and final phase of the Open Finance initiative, which is Open Checkbook.
Open Checkbook provides Houstonians access to detailed expenditure-level payment data to vendors and other recipients.
In April 2021, the City of Houston created the Open Finance initiative to provide more transparency about the City's finances. At that time, Mayor Turner announced the City was launching an open finance initiative to allow Houstonians to track how public funds are being utilized. This includes publishing relevant, accessible datasets about the City's budget, checkbook, and payroll. It also provides simple data visualizations to help the public explore the City's financial activities.
Localities can benefit from data that helps measure policy efforts, increase government operational and process efficiency, provide deeper analytical insights, and increase citizen participation. Increased transparency through open data initiatives enhances the collaboration between residents and their elected leaders. These efforts empower residents to get involved and understand the City's financial activities.
"Open Finance allows citizens to stay informed and gain access to the same information stakeholders and government leaders use to make decisions in the day-to-day operations of local government," Mayor Turner said. "This initiative is another significant step toward improving public engagement and building awareness of the City's financial activities."
The objectives of Open Finance (https://openfinance.houstontx.gov) are:
Open Finance initiative includes three phases:
The City of Houston's Finance department is accepting feedback/questions at the following location.
611 Walker, 10th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department
611 Walker, 13th Floor
Houston, TX 77002