The city of Atlanta has launched its “Open Checkbook” site, which aims to show government spending in easy-to-understand detail. The site is available at

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Sept. 4 that the long-promised online tool was live. The site includes such information as department budgets, expenditures, salaries and contracts with vendors.

An “Open Checkbook” result of search for city spending related to the Buckhead Community Improvement District, a self-taxing group of businesses.

The “Open Checkbook” idea was advocated for several years by current City Council President Felicia Moore and former Buckhead-area City Councilmember Mary Norwood. It took on momentum with an ongoing and widening federal investigation into contractor bribery in City Hall that has already resulted in several convictions.

Bottoms said in a press release that the “Open Checkbook” matches her vision of an “ethical, transparent and fiscally responsible government.”

“Today’s launch of Atlanta’s Open Checkbook provides residents with a powerful accountability tool and will shine a bright light on city spending as we work to reestablish public trust in government,” Bottoms said.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.