Mayor and City Council Launch Searchable Open Budget for New York City

May 11, 2016

New York City’s $82 billion budget will now be searchable online


NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio, the Office of Management and Budget, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland, and Council Member Kallos today announced that the data underpinning New York City’s $82 billion budget is now available for all New Yorkers to explore at nycopendata.socrata.com. The Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget worked with Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Council Member Ben Kallos to make key budget documents human and computer searchable instead of printed or in lengthy PDFs, available on the City’s Open Data Portal. The data complements the extensive budget documents already published online by OMB.

“Data made available by New York City on the Open Data Portal is already unprecedented in reach and scope, but we are always looking for ways to expand our open data and transparency efforts,” said Mayor de Blasio. “All New Yorkers will now be able to explore how the City spends $82 billion a year. The inclusion of these datasets on the Open Data Portal reinforces an important tenet set out by the Digital Playbook, launched this week to make government more open, transparent and responsive – and available online at nyc.gov/playbook.”

"Transparency is an essential part of our continued commitment to making the Council's work more accessible to New Yorkers," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "This update to the Open Data Portal allows the public to access more information about the City budget than ever before. I thank Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland and Council Member Ben Kallos for their strong advocacy on behalf of open government and look forward to continuing to work with the de Blasio Administration to make government more accessible.”

“Transparency and accessibility are cornerstones in this Council’s budget process and something we consistently strive to achieve. Having budget documents be searchable, sortable, and computer-readable are crucial to the public’s knowledge, and I am pleased to launch the Open Data Portal with the collaboration of the Office of Management and Budget today. Council Member Ben Kallos has been a leader on our way towards a more open government, and I thank him for his advocacy,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Committee on Finance.

“New Yorkers should be able to search the city’s budget to see how every penny of their tax dollars is being spent, we are now one step closer to that becoming a reality” said Council Member Ben Kallos, a software developer and open data advocate. “Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, for their partnership in advocacy for an Open Budget and Mayor De Blasio for making it a priority and now a reality.” 

“Making NYC budget documents searchable on Open Data is a huge victory for transparency in government,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “The NYC budget details how we spend $82 billion in taxpayer money. Taxpayers now have a much easier method for evaluating how the City spends their hard-earned money.”

“When agencies make the commitment to make their data machine-readable, it unlocks value for users all across the City, inside government and out” said Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer. “From the City Record Online to this important data release by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, New York City continues to deliver on providing meaningful access to important data for all New Yorkers.”
 
Access to this information via Open Data Portal follows a request by the City Council Budget response on April 4, 2016 on “Open Budget”:
 
The budget is the most important public policy the City regularly makes. As such its transparency is crucial to helping New Yorkers understand how the City spends and raises funding. While OMB publically provides many budget documents, all of them are in portable document format (pdf), making analysis of them cumbersome at best and impossible at worst. Like other agencies, OMB should publish excel files of its documents such as the supporting schedules, departmental estimates, and other applicable documents.

The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), and NYC Digital work together to collect, analyze, and share NYC Data, to create a better City supported by data-based decision making, and to promote public use of City data. As Chair of the Finance Committee, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland oversees the Office of Management and Budget. As Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, Council Member Ben Kallos, oversees the Financial Information Services Agency (FISA) which operates the Financial Management System (FMS) that manages the city budget. Council Member James Vacca is the Chair of the City Council Committee on Technology which provides oversight of NYC’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and the city’s Open Data efforts.

The City Council began Executive Budget hearings Friday, May 6th.


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