City financial records soon available to Grand Forks residents online
Grand Forks residents will soon be able to access the city's financial records in a format designed for non-experts to read. The city's financial records, such as budget and spending information, will be available on opengov.com Oct. 20, said Can...
Grand Forks residents will soon be able to access the city’s financial records in a format designed for non-experts to read.
The city’s financial records, such as budget and spending information, will be available on opengov.com Oct. 20, said Candice Stjerne, assistant financial director for the city of Grand Forks.
City Council approved the decision to allow for city financial records to become accessible to the general public on May 19, but technical difficulties delayed the process.
Former City Council President Hal Gershman brought the idea forward earlier this year, and the council immediately embraced the concept, said Dana Sande, council president.
Stjerne said that the city government’s goal in using this site is to enhance government transparency for citizens.
Sande added transparency has always been a goal for Grand Forks’ government, and that the government tries to be as transparent as possible. Recently, with OpenGov and similar tools, Sande said it has become easier to allow Grand Forks and other governments to get their information on the Internet and to the people.
“People want to know where there money is going. People don’t want the city wasting their money,” Sande said. “Many governments don’t make this information available. We want to be leaders not only in Grand Forks, but in North Dakota, and to be as transparent as we can be.”
Opengov.com hosts financial data about a government or organization’s budget, expenses, and finances in a format that is easily read.
When the information is posted, anyone will be able to visit the site and search for Grand Forks’ records.
The service will cost the city $9,500 annually.
“Initially, this site will provide the 2013 actual revenue and expense information, the 2014 Adopted Budget and the current year revenue and expense information through Aug. 31,” Stjerne said. Following its opening, the site will be updated monthly.
When information is posted, anyone will be able to visit the site and search for Grand Forks’ records. The “Find Your Gov” button on the site leads to a listing of each government, where information is filtered based on function, department and account number. Those are filtered into departments such as community services, like public works, transit, youth services, and the arts, city management, and administrative services.
A link to Grand Forks’ OpenGov site will also be posted at www.grandforksgov.com .