Birmingham City Council

An Open (Check)book. Birmingham Launches Site to Look up Financial Reports

Birmingham’s Open Checkbook

Birmingham residents can now see detailed financial reports for the city at its new Open Checkbook portal.

The website is part of the effort to increase transparency and accountability in city government, according to a press release from the city.

“The Open Checkbook portal is helping us uphold our campaign promise of a transparent government,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said. “I encourage everyone to visit the portal and see exactly how we’re directing our resources to make Birmingham stronger.”

The interactive website offers four types of financial reports centered on the city’s budget. According to the press release, nearly a million pieces of data per fiscal year are available on the website dating back to fiscal year 2009.

The Annual Report link shows the city’s budgets for each year and can be searched by year and department. The website can generate several types of reports, including showing revenue trends, fines and fees collected and specific department spending such as for overtime.

The Budget to Actual link shows how much was budgeted and how much was actually spent for each month by department. It also can be broken down to expenses or revenues, and graphs can be generated on popular searches such as parks and recreation spending and police overtime.

The Neighborhood Allocations link shows a selection of information about finances of neighborhood groups, including expenses each month by individual associations.

The Transaction Report link shows individual transactions by department and purpose of the transaction.

The information can be downloaded and can be shown in multiple types of charts, as the user prefers.

The Open Checkbook is the second step the city has taken recently in its push for transparency. Last week it posted an interactive online directory that lists all boards and agencies, with details about their duties and members. It also allows people to apply to serve on boards.