City Continues to Increase Its Transparency Efforts; Implements “Open Checkbook” Digital Platform Feature

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COVINGTON, KY – Last Tuesday evening, the City of Covington continued to increase its transparency initiatives through the implementation of OpenGov’s “Open Checkbook” digital platform.

Powered by OpenGov, Open Checkbook is a transparency feature within the OpenGov digital platform on the City’s website. OpenGov is designed to help visitors understand how Covington spends and receives its money.

Now available, Open Checkbook allows visitors to view every check that has been issued by the City of Covington, excluding payroll checks.  Additionally, visitors are able to refine their search and customize viewing options to find issued checks by check number, department, function and various other options.

Director of Finance & Operations Lisa Desmarais presented the new digital platform feature to the Board of Commissioners and explained the services and benefits of Open Checkbook.

Desmarais stated, “We’re opening up the City’s checkbook to its citizens. This software is an extremely useful tool in advancing the City’s transparency efforts as well as providing visitors with readily accessible financial information.

“Covington is on the cutting edge of technology, alongside numerous other cities who have integrated the OpenGov transparency portal onto their websites.”

Desmarais also mentioned OpenGov named the City of Covington a “Power User” based on its ability to push the limits of the digital portal integration and use.

Open Checkbook can be found on the City’s home page by clicking on “Government” tab on the blue navigation menu bar. A dropdown menu will appear allowing viewers to click on the “Transparency” menu item (see images below). It can also be accessed directly by clicking here.

Open Checkbook provides numerous benefits allowing visitors to take a closer look and learn more about the City’s multi-fund accounting system. Additionally, visitors have the option to download and export data of interest into an excel file for further analysis.

Launched on May 16, 2016, the OpenGov platform displayed the City’s financial data in an interactive, digital format that enabled better analysis and understanding of City finances. OpenGov is designed to make it easier for both external and internal audiences to explore how taxpayer money is collected and spent.

The launch of OpenGov and Open Checkbook feature are examples of the City’s ongoing initiatives to increase its transparency. In April 2014, the Board of Commissioners adopted the transparency policy and have continued progressing forward with its efforts. The purpose of this policy is to ensure an open and transparent government for the citizens of Covington. The OpenGov financial transparency portal can be accessed by clicking here.

City Manager Larry Klein stated, “OpenGov and Open Checkbook are all-around wins for Covington taxpayers. We want to ensure our citizens know how their tax dollars are being spent so they can judge for themselves. These digital platforms bring visibility and accountability to the City’s operations and finances, all the while saving staff time to gather and assemble information.” 

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