The City and Borough of Juneau has made its fiscal year 2013 adopted budget and fiscal year 2014 approved budget available through its website, providing what budget analyst Bonnie Chaney described Tuesday as a valuable tool for citizens interested in city finances.
The budget documents available on the website are from the FY13 and FY14 budgets that the CBJ Assembly passed June 4. While they have been available to the public through the Finance Department before, they were not viewable online prior to last Friday, when Chaney posted the documents on the CBJ website.
Having the documents online allows people to find information about specific departments’ spending patterns and plans, including four-year comparisons from FY11 through FY14, Chaney said.
“I think the value is it makes it transparent,” said Chaney.
More than 300 pages of documents are available, including maps, pie charts, flow charts, tables and other graphics.
“We try to, you know, make it as user-friendly as possible,” Chaney explained. “You know, we have some pie charts, how we spend people’s money, and … we talk about the core services for each department.”
But Chaney conceded that the sheer amount of information makes it something of an undertaking to approach in its entirety.
“If you have an interest in how the city operates, there’s a lot of good information in it,” said Chaney. “But it is a lot to go through, too, I have to admit, because it’s a whole entire city. Most people are interested in just one particular department, or item, or function, and that’s where they’ll focus their attention.”
The budget documents are separated into smaller PDF files by category, including individual departments and funds.
Although the FY14 budget has been approved, Chaney said departments will reassess their budgets next year and make changes as they see fit.
“We’ll publish it again next year, because every department will look at their budgets again before FY14 and they’ll see if they need to increase their FY14 budget, or decrease it … as the case may be, depending on what their needs are for the upcoming year,” Chaney said.
Chaney said next year’s budget posting should come earlier than it did this year.
• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.