How much for pencils and soap? Dover will tell you

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Posted July 24, 2011, at 8:13 a.m.
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DOVER, N.H. — Interested in how many pencils, bolts and containers of antibacterial soap the city has purchased over the past few months? All of this information is now available on the city’s website.

Recently added to the city’s home page at the top left corner is a link titled “Budget Revealed.” It brings Internet users to a detailed breakdown of how government finances work, where the city’s operating budget money is derived from and what it is ultimately spent on.

“What you are looking at is the result of implementing our new financial management system,” explained City Manager Mike Joyal. “This is another example of our interest and intent to keep our governmental services as open and transparent as possible.”

When accessing the “Where the Money Goes” segment of the “Budget Revealed” link, users can look up each and every purchase order made by the city from February 2011 through March 2011.

The site offers the ability to search by vendor name, the date the purchase was made or by department. The search can also be narrowed down to include which fund the money was derived from as well as the purchase order’s function in the city.

To view the entire list of city department related expenses, click on the “Search Records Database” button below the advanced search field.

The results page will then come up, detailing from left to right the purchase order number, which vendor provided the item, the date it was purchased, a brief description of the item, its individual cost and the total amount of money paid to the vendor.

“It provides a level of detail that has never been available before,” said Joyal. “The extent of this information being made available is perhaps unprecedented by other communities throughout the state.”

Joyal explained it has been a goal of city officials to find and explore ways that would increase the openness and accessibility of government-related information to Garrison City residents.

Purchase orders from June, the final month of Fiscal Year 2011, will be added to the site soon, according to Joyal.

“Every month, we are able to extract from the financial management system all of the purchases that are made by the various city departments and add that to the online lookup screens,” said Joyal.

As the city is nearing the end of its first month in FY 2012, figures relating to purchase orders made in the new fiscal year will be made available soon shortly.

Copyright (c) 2011, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

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