City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

Mayor Turner Launches City of Houston Open Finance Initiative Tied to Financial Transparency

Open Finance Graphic

March 7, 2023 -- The City of Houston is enhancing the use of technology to engage citizens and increase financial transparency. Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the start of the third and final phase of the Open Finance initiative, which is Open Checkbook.

Open Checkbook provides Houstonians access to detailed expenditure-level payment data to vendors and other recipients.

In April 2021, the City of Houston created the Open Finance initiative to provide more transparency about the City's finances. At that time, Mayor Turner announced the City was launching an open finance initiative to allow Houstonians to track how public funds are being utilized. This includes publishing relevant, accessible datasets about the City's budget, checkbook, and payroll. It also provides simple data visualizations to help the public explore the City's financial activities.

Localities can benefit from data that helps measure policy efforts, increase government operational and process efficiency, provide deeper analytical insights, and increase citizen participation. Increased transparency through open data initiatives enhances the collaboration between residents and their elected leaders. These efforts empower residents to get involved and understand the City's financial activities.

"Open Finance allows citizens to stay informed and gain access to the same information stakeholders and government leaders use to make decisions in the day-to-day operations of local government," Mayor Turner said. "This initiative is another significant step toward improving public engagement and building awareness of the City's financial activities."

The objectives of Open Finance ( are: 

  1. Achieve a high standard of financial transparency by providing metrics, interactive visualizations, and downloadable data for Open Budget, Open Checkbook, and Open Payroll to the public.
  2. Publish information that is accurate, compliant, sustainable, consolidated.

Open Finance initiative includes three phases:

  1. Open Budget (July 2022) dataset is structured by two different aspects: revenue and expenditure data depicted as both budget and actual.
  2. Open Payroll (November 2022) will provide employee payroll data that can be filtered by payment period, department, function, and other dimensions.
  3. Open Checkbook (March 2023) will provide detailed expenditure-level payment information and expenses remitted to various vendors and payment recipients.

The City of Houston's Finance department is accepting feedback/questions at the following location.

Finance Department
611 Walker, 10th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Ph: 832.393.9120

Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department
611 Walker, 13th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Ph: 832.393.8501