Virginia Beach Makes Budget Details Publicly Available Via Open VB

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The City of Virginia Beach has launched a new, cloud-based open budget application called Open VB. It is designed to promote greater accountability and transparency by making city government spending freely accessible to the public. 

Citizens can focus on any aspect of the budget – revenues, expenses, operations and capital projects – both as big picture snapshots and in more specific detail for individual line items. 

The Socrata platform that powers the Open VB application publishes budget data in a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate format complete with charts, graphs and maps – a vast improvement over reams of paper or scanned technical documents. 

·         To review current operating budget and capital improvement projects, visit Budgetexpenditure.vbgov.com. 

·         To explore anticipated revenues that provide the funding for city operations, go to Budgetrevenue.vbgov.com. 

For example, to view information about a specific transportation project, such as the Lesner Bridge replacement, visit Budgetexpenditure.vbgov.com​ and click on the budget category “Quality Physical Environment” on the green graph to the right. A second graph will open below, and on that graph select “Roadways.” This will reveal a new image showing 50 specific projects. The second is the Lesner Bridge replacement. Clicking on it will reveal a map indicating the location of the project. A green link in the lower left corner titled “Show project progress” will show project details and the construction status. 

The city strives to provide citizens with an open and inclusive government. By providing an open data program, Virginia Beach citizens may now review, compare, download, visualize and analyze budget data. This tool makes it easier to review and understand city revenues and budget expenditures in a user-friendly platform. 

“Open VB marks a major step forward in increasing public transparency in our budget and capital improvement projects,” said city Budget Director Catheryn Whitesell. “We implemented Open VB because citizens have a right to know how funds are being raised and allocated.”

  

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