Update includes video: Following the lead of Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Mayor Joe Ganim on Wednesday announced the building of a financial portal “OpenBridgeport” so taxpayers can track in real time where their money is being spent. The website is expected to go live in the spring.
More on this from city Communications Director Av Harris:
Mayor Joe Ganim joined Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo today to launch a project now under construction called “OpenBridgeport”–an online portal through which the public will be able to search real-time city financial information. This information includes both revenues and expenditures, such as how much the city has received in taxes and fees, or how much is being paid to certain vendors and under what line items, for example. OpenBridgeport is modeled after the state’s “OpenConnecticut” website (www.osc.ct.gov/openct) launched by Comptroller Lembo in 2013 that publishes the state’s financial information in an effort to improve public access to important state revenue and spending data.
“When I ran for mayor last year I said we needed to open up Bridgeport’s government so the taxpayers can see how their money is being spent, and I meant it,” Ganim said. “I am grateful for the partnership with Comptroller Lembo to launch OpenBridgeport. This is the first step of many that will reinforce our commitment to government accountability and transparency, allowing all city residents access to real-time city financial data. It’s your money, and now you are going to be able to see exactly how the city is spending it.”
Comptroller Lembo said, “Mayor Ganim’s commitment to OpenBridgeport will give residents from Connecticut’s largest city greater access to public financial information than ever before. I am hopeful that Mayor Ganim’s leadership on this will inspire towns and cities across the state that don’t already do so to open their financial books in the same way. I look forward to working with Mayor Ganim on this important open government project.”
The point person from the city of Bridgeport on the “OpenBridgeport” project is Ed Adams, longtime FBI senior investigator and now advisor to Mayor Ganim for public integrity and government transparency.
Adams said, “Mayor Ganim has pledged an open, honest and transparent city government. This initiative is a huge step to attain these goals. OpenBridgeport will deliver transparency and establish an easily searchable database for the use of all residents.”
Once completed, OpenBridgeport will allow users to easily explore highly detailed financial information, including how much the city spends on its various services and how much was paid to individual vendors. It will allow users to find out how much the city budgeted for services, and how spending is trending throughout the fiscal year. In partnership with the State of Connecticut, Bridgeport is in the process of preparing its financial data so that it can be uploaded to the same open data platform now used by the state. The project is expected to take approximately three to four months to complete before the website goes live.