By Beth Lawton and Jason Spencer
Did you know Fairfax County paid $9,600 to 7-Eleven in fiscal year 2013 as part of a county and regional transportation project? Or that the county has given more than $30,000 to the American Red Cross' National Capital Region chapter so far this spending cycle?
Fairfax County has launched a new online checkbook to give residents and businesses better information about how the county and its school system spends money.
Residents can search for payments to vendors and other local government and public school system expenses. The site also includes links to budget documents, audit documents, financial reports and more. The information available through the site is for the current fiscal year, which started July 1, and for fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30.
“While there is still much work to be done this new page gives our citizens a good look at how we spend our money and we are now the most fiscally transparent local government in Virginia,” Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity said in a statement.
“My hope is that people will take the time to see where our money goes, and we can have a constructive conversation on how to do things better and more efficiently."
The website is a work-in-progress, as county staff are still filtering out what can and cannot be disclosed. It also offers only the most basic information as to what a payment was used for, without elaboration.
It also may take multiple attempts to acquire the sought-after data. The site on Monday tried to force Patch to enter specific vendor names several times before a drop-down menu listing applicable vendors appeared.