Kane County gives residents 'intuitive' way to access financial info

GENEVA – Giving the public access to Kane County’s online checkbook is just the beginning of the data that internet users might glean from a platform the auditor’s office debuted last year.

Along with the financial data already made public, the platform – Kane County OpenGov – has the potential to store various non-financial information from, for example, the circuit clerk’s and sheriff’s offices.

Auditor Terry Hunt and Deputy Auditor Andrea Rich shared Kane County OpenGov’s existing capabilities and potential uses with county officials on July 11, a little more than a year after the platform was launched.

The service began in response to demand from the public, Hunt said, adding the earliest outcry was for an online checkbook.

Anyone with an internet connection can access it, he said, and users may download reports, as well as share them on such social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.

“I don’t think we’re hooked up on Pokémon Go yet,” Hunt said.

Information is available from 2009 and can be filtered a variety of ways, including by department and vendor.

“Most everything in this report is intuitive,” Hunt said.

Rich showed reports in development for internal uses, including reports on head count and salaries. County Board members showed particular interest in a map showing the distribution of riverboat grants.

“It’s great to have that information there,” Becky Gillam, R-West Dundee, said.

Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, suggested compiling information about property taxes in a way that would make it easy to compare communities.

Hunt said the auditor’s office doesn’t have the authority to make certain information public and is limited by resources in what it can do. But, he said, if the County Board feels something is important, that provides added incentive to accelerate the process.

On the web

Visit www.KaneCountyOpenGov.org for information on Kane County’s finances, including the online checkbook and procurement card transaction report.

By OpenGov
Published: July 13, 2016
Source: Kane County Chronicle