While the Town of Colma promotes financial transparency by posting several financial documents online, including the Town’s operating budgets, sometimes additional information may be sought by our residents. Oftentimes that information is most easily understood by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into a spreadsheet.
In an effort to enhance transparency in financial reporting, the Town of Colma is offering an interactive reporting tool that allows citizens to explore City budget data online in various graphical formats selected by the user. This online application was pioneered by OpenGov, a local software engineering company specializing in data accessibility products that help strengthen the connection between local government and community members.
The Town is providing actual historical budget data from fiscal year 2005/2006 for public review via the OpenGov software. Each year during the budget cycle, a new year of data will be added and the oldest year removed, giving the public a rolling multi-year snapshot of revenue and expenditure trends.
Click on the graphic or follow this link to visit the Town's Transparency Tool. The link will open a new window and take you to Colma’s OpenGov website. Instructions on how to navigate the data are included via the "How To" tab at the top of the web page.
How To Use The Tool
Here are some general tips on how to use the Transparency Portal:
- The Tool allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view includes a chart or graph, a legend and various controls to view expenses by departments out of various funds.
- You'll notice the title of the chart or graph you are viewing on top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.
- To focus on specific data – like a fund, department, expense type, or any combination – look to the left and use the menu on the side panel. These selectors allow the user to specify exactly what breakdown you want the graph or table to represent. When you select "Filtered By" the data filter expands and allows you to turn on or turn off selected filters for that category.
- Want to look at what makes up a specific department’s budget? Select one of the departments on the right side.
- There are five different types of visual representations of the data – an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph and a table. The view can be changed by type at any point by simply selecting the different type of representation. The data will automatically convert. These functions are on the top right.
- You can also download the data into a .csv spreadsheet and .png image.
- You can share the data (any view of the data) on a social network or by email.
A Few Links To Get You Started
- Breakdown of the Town’s revenue types can be found here.
- Breakdown of Revenues vs. Expenditures can be found here. Note the large spike in fiscal year 2013/14 – that was due to the Town paying off its certificates of participation (long-term debt).
- Breakdown of the Town’s primary expenditures can be found here.
- Breakdown of Police Department expenses can be found here.