OpenGov, Real time financial reporting
Our city has joined the effort to become more transparent with the launch of a new financial website portal called OpenGov. During the March 20th City Council meeting the Mayor Nin Hulett opened session with a presentation from City Manager Chris Coffman and staff Ava and Elizabeth. OpenGov is now accessible to citizens online bringing with it accountability, insight, and being informed about its financial operations.
OpenGov is a cloud based platform
OpenGov is a cloud based platform allowing integration with the accounting software that the city financial department previously purchased back in August. Subsequently, this will allow “almost” real time reporting with daily updates.
The site is very easy to use and read. It also offers a tour on how to navigate the site or you can just get started right away. The information it provides includes current revenue, property taxes, historical data, fiscal year data, and current budgets just to name a few.
The information can be viewed in various charts and graphs, with different colors and “hoover over” features making it easy to navigate. If you want to look at just raw numerical data, well you can do that too.
In the past it required several employees constantly data mining and spreadsheets to achieve Texas Comptroller’s distinguished Transparency Stars program. Granbury holds this title but at the cost of dumping data into Excel, cleaning it up by manually copying, pasting, and applying formulas, then format charts and graphs, and if you have never, well lets say it is tedious, and time consuming. Today, with OpenGov all of this is essentially uploaded every night to the server.
Honestly it is quite impressive. Council Member Trish Reiner also commented “its very user friendly on my cell phone”
Currently over 1,800 local governments nationwide are on the OpenGov network, including several Texas cities such as McKinney, and Burnet. OpenGov was founded about five years ago in the Bay Area, said Joe Roualdes, head of communications with OpenGov by Zac Bookman, Joe Lonsdale, and technologists from Stanford University, who studied government budgeting in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Each department within a government tends to operate in its own silo with its own goals, he said. So what the OpenGov Smart Government Cloud technology does, is it goes into each of the departmental silos, pulls all of the data out of those systems and puts it in one place.
To conclude, today’s headlines are full of how Government is non transparent, However the city of Granbury has taken a broad stroke at making the financial operations crystal clear.
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