Before the Internet of Things, smartphones, computers, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and all the apps and services that we take for granted today, government transparency looked very different. But with technological advancements, citizens expects new levels of online access to government information, and to be able to find that information whenever it suits their needs. While local government transparency has always been important, there have been recent surges of pressure from state-level governments. This means local government organizations of all sizes and budgets are being forced to … [Read more...] about Feeling the Pressure: Local Governments React to New Transparency Mandates
Clerks play a major role in all aspects of a municipal government. They are often the main point of contact for citizens that have questions about the community. After all, as the historian of the community, they know the ins and outs better than almost anyone else at their organization. Yet so many Clerks we talk to don’t feel confident in a leadership role, driving change or having their voice heard. Because the day-to-day activities of a Clerk can vary, often times the public, council members and other staff are unclear about a Clerk’s role in local government. It’s for this reason that … [Read more...] about What Does It Take to Better Demonstrate Value as a Clerk?
In our recent webinar Bringing Information to the People: Transparency Tips for Small/Mid Sized Local Governments, we had a great conversation with Tracey McKenzie from the County of Lennox & Addington, Ontario about how her organization manages to achieve such a high standard of transparency while dealing with limited staff and resources. While a common barrier to organizational change can be finding the budget, staff time and buy-in from other departments or council members, our discussion revealed some compelling reasons why organizations should make improved transparency a priority … [Read more...] about 3 Transparency Tips from the County of Lennox and Addington
When municipal clerks change jobs or retire, local governments can lose much of the valuable organizational knowledge they need to provide essential services, preserve local history, and comply with legislative mandates. Indeed, the biggest threat to local governments’ management and curation of information may be the staff members who built those processes in the first place. Retaining organizational knowledge: Why local governments must act now Many local governments still use manual processes to manage meeting agendas and public records, and frequently file paper documents in manila … [Read more...] about Retaining Organizational Knowledge: An Urgent Issue for Local Government Leaders
If local governments are not investing in technology that makes data more available to the public, they are not investing in transparency. It’s really that simple. Download our Run a Transparent Government white paper here. In today’s highly connected world, transparency has become synonymous with digital access to information. The right digital tools can make transparency achievable, scalable and cost-effective while making local government data accessible to the residents of major cities like Chicago and much smaller communities such as Williamsville, New York. Chicago and … [Read more...] about Transparency through technology: Scalable, cost-effective and achievable now
Many local governments today face a difficult dilemma: how to stretch a reduced budget to meet the growing demand for more and better services, comply with new regulatory requirements, and cover escalating pension and infrastructure costs. A range of new technology solutions may hold the key. The financial crisis that devastated many businesses and homeowners also hit local governments hard, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. By 2009, state aid and property taxes, which typically make up more than half of local revenues nationwide, covered a smaller share of local … [Read more...] about Run a lean government: Don’t let budget constraints force you to cut critical services