Frequently Asked Questions

About NC OpenBudget

1.  What is NC OpenBudget?

2.  What is the State of North Carolina’s budget transparency initiative?

3.  What information is available on NC OpenBudget?

4.  Is there any state spending that is not found on NC OpenBudget?

5.  Is personal information protected?

6.  How is the data protection provided?

7.  What web browser should I use to best view the charts and graphs on NC OpenBudget?

8.  How do I learn about terms used on this site?

9.  Who is responsible for the governance and maintenance of the data and site?

10. Will improvements be made to NC OpenBudget in the future?

11. How do I make an Access to Information Request if I can't find the information I'm looking for?

 

About the Data

1.  Where does the budget expenditure data come from?

2.  What reports are available on this site?

3.  How often is the expenditure data updated?

4.  I found a negative value for an amount paid.  How is that possible?

5.  Where can I find more information about the data?

 

About North Carolina State Budgeting

1.  Where can I find an overview of the budget process?

2.  For what time period is information reported?

 

Tips for Using This Site

1.  Searching and Downloading

2.  Access for Mobile Devices

3.  Can I view the charts and graphs from a tablet or mobile devices?

4.  Viewing and Printing

5.  Accessibility Features

 

Contact

1.  Who do I contact if I have a question about the data on NC OpenBudget?


About NC OpenBudget

1.  What is NC OpenBudget?

In support of the North Carolina’s budget transparency initiative, NC OpenBudget is a budget transparency website that provides information on state government budget and spending. State budget, expenditures and payments have been shared online for citizens to search, download and analyze.

2.  What is the State of North Carolina’s budget transparency initiative?

The State of North Carolina’s budget transparency initiative is designed to provide information on budget expenditures for each State agency.

3.  What information is available on NC OpenBudget?

The data shared includes budgeted amounts and actual expenditures for each State agency supported by the State’s General Fund, the Highway Fund, and the Highway Trust Fund. Information is provided for both appropriated and receipt supported expenditures. The data also provides information on payments to vendors and other recipients, such as local governments or nonprofits. This data is updated on a monthly basis.

The site also includes information on the Governor's Recommended budget. This data is provided at the time the Governor's budget is released and represents a snapshot at that point in time. Information reflects appropriations only. The data is not regularly updated. The final budget will be made available on the site once enacted by the General Assembly, at which point data on budget and spending will be updated on a monthly basis. 

Local government and public school data is currently available on the Local Government Commission website and the Department of Public Instruction’s website. Future releases will provide enhanced functionality for accessing local government and public school data.

4.  Is there any state spending that is not found on NC OpenBudget?

All General Fund supported spending that is appropriated by the General Assembly is contained in the website. Data is also provided for the Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund. Data on other non-General Fund activity (e.g. Trust funds, Internal Service Funds) will be made available in a future release.

5.  Is personal information protected?

Some expenditure data may be considered private, confidential, or protected under state or federal law. Information appearing to be private, confidential, or protected by law may not be displayed. For such expenditures, you may contact the agency for more information, but please be advised that the Agency may be prohibited from releasing additional information.

6.  How is the data protection provided?

Some payment information has been excluded entirely for accounts used to make payments for purposes known to contain private information, such as public assistance payments, worker’s compensation claims, or legal settlement payments. In some cases, the payment information is provided, but the payee’s name has been replaced with a generic term in place of a specific individual’s name.

7.  What web browser should I use to best view the charts and graphs on NC OpenBudget?

The following web browsers are supported for viewing charts and graphs:

  • Google Chrome Version 15 and higher (32-bit version)
  • Internet Explorer Version 9 and higher (32-bit version)
  • Firefox Version 6 and higher (32-bit version)

Adobe Flash Player 11.1 or higher is required.  A full list of general browser requirements are listed on the SAS 9.4 Support site.  The website is optimized for a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher.

8.  How do I learn about terms used on this site?

Please visit the site Glossary.

9.  Who is responsible for the governance and maintenance of the data and site?        

The Office of State Budget and Management is the lead agency responsible for the site and works in partnership with the Department of Information Technology to develop and maintain the site.

10.  Will improvements be made to NC OpenBudget in the future?

Yes. There are planned enhancements and additions that will be rolled out in a phased manner over the next several months. User feedback will be reviewed and used to inform other potential enhancements or improvements. 

Visit the Contact Us page to access the forms for requesting data and/or for making a suggestion.

11.  How do I make an Access to Information Request if I can't find the information I'm looking for?

For information on submitting a public records request, visit the webpage for the agency source of record:

 

About the Data

1.  Where does the budget expenditure data come from?

State spending data comes from the North Carolina Accounting System (NCAS), which is the state’s accounting system. The Governor's recommended budget data comes from the Office of State Budget and Management and the Integrated Budget Information System (IBIS)

Local government and public school data is provided by local governments and schools via the Local Government Commission and the Department of Public Instruction.

2.  What reports are available on this site?

Currently, the site includes a State Budget and Spending Report, which can be viewed by Committee, Agency, Budget Code, Fund Code or Account. Data is available for the last four fiscal years, including the current fiscal year to date.

The site also includes reports on the Governor's recommended budget, including a high-level overview, information on recommended changes, and historical trends. The data is presented thematically and can be filtered by Agency, Budget Code, and Fund Code.

Additional reports and functionality will continue to be added to the site. 

3.  How often is the expenditure data updated?

State spending posted on NC OpenBudget is updated monthly. There is a two month lag in the data to allow time for all monthly activity to post and to ensure the month is closed before the data is added to the site.

4.  I found a negative value for an amount paid.  How is that possible?

A negative value would reflect a revenue source to the selected agency, most likely a returned payment or accounting correction.

5.  Where can I find more information about the data?

Each of the charts and graphs has a help button you can click on for more information.

About North Carolina State Budgeting

1.  Wherecan I find an overview of the budget process?

The budget process for North Carolina is available at the OSBM website.

2.  For what time period is information reported?

State budget and expenditure data presented on NC OpenBudget is based on the State’s fiscal year (FY), which begins on July 1st. For example, FY16 is the period between July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. Data is currently provided for the last four fiscal years, including activity to date for the current fiscal year (FY16).

 

Tips for Using This Site

Searching and Downloading

1.  Can I search expenditure data?

Yes. Search expenditure data by keyword.

2.  Where can I search awarded state contracts?

For agency contracts, visit the NC Open Book website.

For state term contracts, visit the State of North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contract website.

3.  Can I do a bulk download of a year's worth of expenditures?

Yes. Download a .csv file of prior fiscal year data.

4.  How long will it take for me to download a .csv file of expenditure data?

The size of the file and your internet connection will determine the speed your file downloads.

Access for Mobile Devices

1.  Can I view the charts and graphs from a tablet or mobile devices?

Yes. SAS Visual Analytics Mobile Clients (SAS Mobile BI) are available for Apple and Android devices via free downloads from app stores.
Detail from each is available at: 
Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sas-mobile-bi/id511030524?mt=8
Android:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sas.android.bimobile

2.  How do I set up the mobile app?

Mobile instructions for Android users (pdf)

Mobile instructions for iPhone users (pdf)

 

Viewing and Printing

 

1.  Can I print the charts and graphs?

Yes. All data contained in the website may be exported in a .pdf file. Right-click on a chart then select the option to export as PDF.  Or, right-click on a chart and select the option to export the image.

2.  Can I export the expenditure data found on NC OpenBudget to an Excel spreadsheet?

Yes. All data contained in the website may be exported in an Excel file. Right-click on a chart and select the option to export the data.

3.  Can I export filtered charts and graphs?

Yes. You can filter the information in the charts and graphs and export the filtered data as Excel, PDF, or image. 

4.  Can I view the graphs in full screen?

If you are working with charts and graphs, you can use the full-screen option to view them in full screen. The option will appear when you click on chart.

 

5.  Can I use the browser back button to navigate from charts and graphs to a previous web page?

If you are working within the charts and graphs, you can use the embedded back button/menu to go back to a previous screen. 

 

Accessibility Features

The analytics used on this site have been tested against the accessibility standards for electronic information technology that were adopted by the U.S. Government under Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (2008 draft proposal initiative update). It was also tested against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 levels A and AA, part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C). More information about accessibility features are listed on the  SAS VA 7.3 support  site.

 

Contact

 

1.  Who do I contact if I have a question about the data on NC OpenBudget?

Submit an issue or suggest a fix for existing data on NC OpenBudget Contact Us page

For information on submitting a public records request, visit the webpage for the agency source of record: