Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner yesterday unveiled a new initiative to ensure open government and provide greater access and transparency to the County’s budget.
OpenBook — an online portal that allows the public to explore revenues and expenditures in the County’s operating budget and details about specific projects in the capital budget — offers charts and graphs, maps, photographs, and timelines. For example, viewers can click on a specific construction project and learn its status, see where it is on a map, and how much it costs.
“Citizens expect and deserve open and transparent government,” Executive Gardner said. “OpenBook is an innovative way to use technology to help people easily see and understand how Frederick County is using taxpayers’ money. Now when people want to know how much is allocated to a particular service or project, it is at their fingertips.”
According to a County press release:
OpenBook can be accessed from the Budget Office’s webpage, www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/Budget. A short video covering highlights of the new portal can be viewed at https://youtu.be/v1DtZCzMSPA. The Budget Office webpage also includes a flip-book version of the current Fiscal Year 2021 budget book, as well as past years’ budgets.
Also during Thursday’s briefing, Executive Gardner announced the launch of a public meeting portal, PublicInput.com/FrederickCoMD. The site provides a central place to find virtual meetings of the County Council, the Planning Commission, and several boards and commissions, including videos of some meetings that are not televised on FCG TV. The portal has a built-in translation service for comments and responses.