County spending details now online | September 25, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - September 25, 2013

County spending details now online

San Mateo County government has announced Open Checkbook, a web program that provides the public with a simplified look at spending by county agencies and tracked with the ongoing fiscal year, which begins every July 1.

The list of 52 agencies includes the Sheriff's Office ($11,561,845), the Board of Supervisors ($215,094) and the Coroner's Office ($158,525), and a list of 475 vendors to whom checks have been paid.

The program lists 156 types of expenditures, which include spending dairy products ($10,095), guns and ammunition ($13,415) and laundry services ($24,895).

"We are excited to provide this important step in open government to County citizens," Controller Bob Adler says in a news release. The program covers almost 94 percent of non-payroll county spending but excludes confidential payments such as those involving victims of domestic violence, Mr. Adler says.

Go to to start exploring. The data can be sorted in several ways, and includes key-word and vendor-name search functions.

The cloud software behind the program is by Seattle-based Socrata Inc., which also has contracts with New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, the World Bank and Medicare, the county says.


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