Checkbook NYC Open-Sourced at Personal Democracy Forum 2013

Open Source Code Now Available for Download by Other Governments

Jun 12, 2013, 10:00 ET from REI Systems

STERLING, Va., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York City Comptroller announced at the Personal Democracy Forum press conference that Checkbook NYC, a financial transparency tool developed by REI Systems, is now open-sourced and available for download by other city and state governments.

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Checkbook NYC is an online financial transparency website that provides up-to-date information about New York City's revenues, expenditures, contracts, payroll, and budget. The website provides unprecedented access to NYC government financial data, enabling citizens to track how NYC spends its $70 billion annual budget. Built on the Drupal open source content management platform, Checkbook NYC's data warehouse is updated daily, contains more than 50 million financial transactions, and is growing at a rate of approximately two million transactions per month. A comprehensive national study, conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), ranked Checkbook NYC as one of the top transparency websites in the country. "We built this for a simple reason:  shining a bright light on government spending helps root out waste and ensures that tax dollars are spent wisely," said NYC Comptroller, John C. Liu

REI Systems (REI), a leading provider of open government and transparency solutions, supported the development and implementation of Checkbook NYC in close collaboration with the New York City Comptroller's office. The Comptroller selected REI to lead the project because the company has a strong track-record of developing government transparency websites, including,, and At a joint NYC – REI Systems Press Conference in New York, REI Vice President, Paul Anninos, stated, "This is a great story – a story of rapid, agile execution; a story of build once, use many times; a story of earning the public trust one day at a time."  Anninos also stated, "Comptroller Liu and his team have shifted the conversation from what could be, to what should be, to what is."

NYC is distributing the software source code to the open source community as a cost-effective approach for other state and local governments to leverage new features added by other developers. With this exciting new transparency initiative, other state and local governments can adopt and enhance the source code and reap the benefits of this powerful tool with minimal upfront costs. "In an era of scarce resources, open source software represents a major cost savings opportunity for taxpayers because it allows government to mobilize the collective talents of developers everywhere," said City Comptroller, John C. Liu.

NYC believes that sharing this code will not only enhance the success of transparency initiatives, but also serve as a model for future open source collaborations by governments. The code is available for use and modification under AGPL 3.0 license and can be accessed at GitHub (, an online community where open-sourced code is stored, shared, and adapted.

About REI Systems

REI Systems is a leading provider of web-enabled business solutions for the Federal Government and the commercial sector. Drawing upon our mission to deliver reliable, effective, and innovative solutions, the company works daily to solve complex homeland security, defense, health resources, criminal justice, and performance support issues. REI Systems is strengthened by its commitment to exceeding customer expectations. REI Systems has been serving government at all levels and major corporations since 1989.

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Paul J. Anninos