Chicago and New York City’s Use of Open Budget Data: Case study

In the past several years, the three largest local governments in the Chicago-metropolitan area (the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, and Cook County) have begun publishing open budget datasets. In that same time, the City of New York (NYC) began publishing open budget data, as well as transactional spending and contract data, through its Checkbook NYC website. Both Chicago and NYC’s open budget data has been lauded by transparency advocates as a best practice among cities in publishing financial data. The goal of this case study is to explore why and how local governments in NYC and Chicago are publishing open budget data and how journalists and civil society organizations are using this information. The goal is to describe in detail the form that open budget data is taking in these cities, why it was published in the first place, and what is being done with the data.