How New York City spends $82 billion would be more transparent, with a city budget that is searchable and computer readable instead of printed or in lengthy PDFs, by requiring the budget to be searchable, posted in open formats, and available for third parties to “build an app for that.”
The legislation would align New York City data standards for its budget with the Federal standards in the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) that lead to the adoption of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) so that any software built for the Federal budget could easily be used with the city’s budget like USAspending.gov.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. The New York city charter is amended by adding a new section 258.1 to read as follows:
§258.1. Format of documents. Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the office of management and budget shall at the time it posts on its website such documents as are required by chapters six, nine or ten of this charter or the financial emergency act for the city of New York and any other budget-related document provided by the mayor to the council, simultaneously provide such documents to the council and post such documents on its website, on the single web portal created pursuant to section 23-502 of the administrative code of the city of New York and through an open application program interface in both a human-readable format and non-proprietary format that permits automated processing capable of being downloaded in bulk, including, but not limited to, portable document format, ascii delimited comma separated values, opendocument spreadsheet, Excel binary file format, Microsoft Office open extensible markup language spreadsheet schema and extensible business reporting language or such other standards established by the secretary of the treasury and the director of the office of management and budget pursuant to section 4 of the digital accountability and transparency act of 2014, as enacted by public law 113-101. Such documents shall include, but not be limited to, the preliminary budget, and any supporting schedules thereto; the executive budget, and any supporting schedules thereto; the budget message; the council’s alterations to the executive budget, and any supporting schedules thereto; the adopted budget, and any supporting schedules thereto; the departmental estimates; the statement of proposed direct expenditures in each service district; the financial plan, and any modification thereof, and any supporting schedules or supplemental data thereto; the draft ten-year capital strategy; the ten-year capital strategy; any report on staffing levels; and the budget function analysis.
Section 2. This local law takes effect 180 days after it becomes law.