Government Websites Are Going Interactive With Budget Details. But Will Citizens Know What They’re Seeing?

When the Radnor Township, Pennsylvania Commissioners discovered that the Township Manager had given himself nearly $130,000 in unauthorized bonuses, they began an initiative to become more transparent about Township funds.

The “Open Finance” website was launched as an interactive tool to let residents, investors, business owners, government employees, and others explore the township’s budget through charts and graphs. The site allows users to look at broad data or drill deep into funds, reaching individual check amounts if desired.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has determined that current technology enables smaller governments to offer the same types of online tools that larger governments are providing their constituents. The GFOA is working on best practices for online budget tools.

(summarized from The Inquirer)

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