Austin expenditures open to public through online database program

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Austin residents can now view how the city is putting their tax dollars to use. The city launched eCheckbook, an online database of city expenditures, on its website Friday. Residents can browse the eCheckbook by city department or spending category, and city staff will update it every Monday. Matt Curtis, spokesman for the office of the Mayor, said eCheckbook will promote transparency in the city government. “This will better serve the community so they will feel more confident about how taxpayer dollars are spent,” Curtis said. Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the advancement of the Internet has offered a way to easily share this information. “Government finances should be as transparent as possible. We can do that now,” Leffingwell said. “Now anybody that has a computer can find all checks, who it was paid to and how much was paid.” Although eCheckbook launched on Friday, Leffingwell said he has already heard feedback from residents who have used it.