(Update) City of Chicago posts a variety of usable information on the city website
Information on more than 90,000 city contracts dating back to 1993 will be available and easy to download on the Internet, thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest move to shine the light on City Hall.
In nearly three months in office, Emanuel has posted an unprecedented amount of information on the Internet in the name of government “transparency.”
The mayor’s office has literally released 170 “datasets” — everything from the names and salaries of city employees to information on lobbyists, crime, abandoned buildings and the list of contractors barred from doing business with the city.
Until now, contract information was available on the Internet, but it was not easy to find, search or download. You had to make a specific search on the Department of Procurement Services website or file a Freedom of Information request. Contracts were distributed by the city through e-mail or PDF.
The new system is in an “open, searchable, machine readable format” designed to dramatically reduce the time it takes to access information on city spending. Chicago would literally blaze a national trail when it comes to contract transparency, officials said.