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EBR City-Parish rolls out new online tool featuring detailed view of annual operating budget

4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, January 27 2021 Jan 27, 2021 January 27, 2021 8:57 AM January 27, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – Baton Rouge citizens have access to a new web-based platform that offers a detailed, interactive view of the City-Parish's annual operating budget.

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the launch of Open Budget BR, on Wednesday (Jan. 27) morning.

Broome explained why Open Budget BR was created, saying, “One of my top priorities these past several years has involved expanding the public’s access to City-Parish data and information, including building new digital tools and platforms powered by this commitment to open data and transparency at all levels.”

The Mayor went on to say, “Open Budget BR takes the complexity of our nearly 500-page annual budget and distills it down into easy-to-understand visuals and information that residents can use to better understand our City-Parish budget along with all the various services and programs it funds.”

 The new Open Budget BR platform replaces an older web-based budget application and complements the City-Parish’s approved 2021 operating budget book with a host of tools and integrations designed to provide users with an unprecedented view into the expenses the City-Parish incurs as it delivers programs and services each year.

The new system allows users to easily compare budgeted versus actual expenses incurred in real-time and throughout the year. This feature is available through the platform’s integration with its companion Open Checkbook BR website, which features checkbook-level expenditure data for all City-Parish departments.

Mayor Broome noted the platform will expand in future years to include additional annual operating budgets that allow for comparisons from year to year, as well as capital programs and projects that are multi-year in nature.

Her office issued a Wednesday morning press release regarding the new tool, stating: "Open Budget BR is part of the City-Parish’s award-winning open data initiative that includes Open Data BR and its EBRGIS program, among other tools and resources. In late 2020, the Center for Digital Government ranked Baton Rouge third among all mid-sized cities in the U.S. in its annual digital cities survey, pointing to the City-Parish’s use of data and technology to drive real-time decision making and spur greater citizen engagement." 

For more information on Open Budget BR, visit http://budget.brla.gov.

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