Citizensaudit.org seeks to provide city information online as a public service. The mission is to bring greater understanding of how our money is spent in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The state has an extensive project begun to provide open data, it’s called Connecticut Open Data. The city of Hartford is already providing over 20 datasets which are updated daily as well as other data periodically.
COMPARE BRIDGEPORT TO HARTFORD AND NEW HAVEN. The mission is also to compare data to other major cities in Connecticut. For example, for grants data, 2010 to 2014 the following chart allows click through into specific information. You can compare grant amounts received for Bridgeport with New Haven and Hartford.
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HARTFORD HAS OPEN DATA. BRIDGEPORT NOT YET.
At the moment, Hartford, Connecticut has taken the lead in the state for open data and transparency. They have a website called HartfordData, which shows a growing amount of open data for the city.
Two of the first projects the Hartford city government project created, were the data on the fire department and also open checkbook. The open checkbook site provides total spending by fiscal year to individual vendor payments as well as employee payroll.
The fire department data shows total number of incidents. Both the fire department and city officials make use of this data, which is updated every day by midnight. You are looking at live official data here which is updated daily into a bar chart. This is just an example of the many types of data sets that can be made available. This is not currently available for Bridgeport.
EXAMPLE: DAILY FIRE RELATED INCIDENTS IN HARTFORD (UPDATED DAILY)
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WHAT IS DATA TRANSPARENCY? Greater transparency for local government is part of a national trend. On May 9, 2014, the President of the United States signed in a new law, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. The act was bipartisan legislation that requires federal agencies to publish their spending data in a standardized, machine-readable format that the public can access through USASpending.gov.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT BUDGET ISSUES YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT? How do you get information on the city budget? See below for possible approaches:
1. Ask one or both of your City Council persons,
2. Ask a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee at their monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month if it is not canceled,
3. Call, email or visit the Finance Department at 999 Broad Street to present your question,
4. Visit the Mayor when he holds his weekly Brown Bag Lunch in the Wheeler Rooms at 45 Lyons Terrace City Hall and raise you question. If he does not know the answer he will promise that the question will receive follow-up,
5. Use the City B-Connected technology, raise your question and see if you get an answer,
6. Try a Freedom of Information approach.
This website was created by the Bridgeport Digital Humanities organization.<