"Open Budget" Transparency Portal Launched to Improve Access to State Budget Information

Velmanette Montgomery

January 23, 2013

A new website, OpenBudget.ny.gov, was launced this week to provide unprecedented access and transparency to New York's budget and its process. Open Budget is a first step in Open New York, an initiative outlined in the Governor's 2013 State of the State address, which will use technology to promote transparency, improve government performance, and enhance citizen engagement.

The Open Budget website provides easy, single-stop access to New York's wealth of budget data, including comprehensive machine-readable raw financial data along with tools and charts to make that information more understandable. To support transparency and to encourage participation in government, researchers, citizens, business and the media will now have direct access to high-value data which they can search, explore and download; use for analysis; and use to build their own additional tools that find practical uses for the data for all New Yorkers.

Openbudget.ny.gov contains:

  • Powerful Budget Lookup Tools: Allowing media, researchers, and the public to easily view and download New York's budget information to facilitate review and analysis. Tools include:
  • Budget & Actuals Lookup: Search and download estimates and actual spending information for the current year and dating back to 1994, shown either statewide for all years or filtered by function, agency, fund type, or financial plan category.
  • Appropriations Lookup: Search and download budget appropriations for the current budget year, shown either statewide or filtered by agency, fund type, program or appropriation category.
  • Capital Appropriations Lookup: Search and download capital appropriations for the current budget year, shown either statewide or filtered by agency.
  • Electronic Access to Current and Historical Budget Data: Single-stop access to current and historical budget information in electronic format with key recent budget documents downloadable in machine-readable and Microsoft Excel formats as available. In addition, fascinating historical documents dating back almost sixty years to Governors Thomas E. Dewey and Nelson Rockefeller are newly available in Adobe PDF format on a single site.
  • Charts and Tables: Charts and tables make access to New York's budget data more impactful by illustrating where New York's budget dollars come from and how taxpayer money is being spent.
  • Easy Downloads of the Current Year Financial Plan: This feature, which will be updated periodically, provides easy electronic access to the State's financial plan tables – materials that have been requested by researchers and the public in the past and are now made available here proactively.
  • Single-stop Access to the Governor's Executive Budget Materials and other Timely Announcements: Now providing one-stop access to information and materials related to the 2013-14 Executive Budget. Open Budget will provide access to other timely budget materials of interest to the public going forward.

Open New York builds on Governor Cuomo's past work to make government more transparent. As Attorney General, Cuomo used technology to provide groundbreaking transparency and accountability in government through Project Sunlight, the state's first-ever online database of information related to campaign finance, lobbying activity, state spending, and state contracts.