by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : September 2014
[BrieFing] If an advocate for the homeless in New Haven, Conn., wants to know how the community services agency there is spending its money, today that person can nd out with a few clicks of a mouse. Gone are the days when the public had to submit Freedom of Information Act requests or sift through thousands of les to nd public funding docu- ments. As of earlier this year, that infor- mation has been available on a website stood up by OpenGov.com, an "open budget" company. OpenGov.com offers web-based nancial visualization software for state and local governments. It is designed to make government budget and nancial data more accessible by presenting it in a user-friendly, interac- tive manner. "Before, you could never see data in a 400-page PDF document quickly, you could never drill down by types of expense," said Doug Hausladen, director of the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traf c and Parking. "It would just be ipping around from page 100 to page 400." Using his own department as an ex- ample, Hausladen said earlier nancial reporting relied on a spreadsheet that had limited uses. In a case where a spreadsheet might show costs holding steady, for example, OpenGov.com would reveal that personnel costs had actually risen, while program costs had fallen, keep- ing costs level. "It tells a better story of what a department can do and what we're capable of when we're able to pair this data --- this sort of static nancial data --- with accountability," Hausladen said. "If I'm able to tell you, a member of the public, 'we're able to have this much output while having this cost,' that's a really powerful story." New Haven has taken a gradual approach to establishing nancial transparency using the OpenGov technology. In the rst iteration, said Hausladen, "we've only put so much staff time into making our data better, look presentable," Hausladen said. "Every year we do this, and every itera- tion, we'll get better and better and more transparent." Delete this graph as necessary for t. OpenGov works as a subscription service. Agencies email their raw gen- eral ledger data --- Excel or comma- separated formats are preferred, but the company has worked with others such as SAP and Quickbooks. The company maps the data, accounting for each municipality's unique chart of accounts --- and provides a link to a website for review, often within a week. "Our focus is exclusive to budget and nancial data as we believe this is the most critical information a govern- ment maintains," said Zac Bookman, the company's chief executive of cer. "This data clearly articulates how an organization operates and how the organization serves its constituents. At OpenGov, our mission is to cre- ate powerful transparency solutions and business intelligence software for governments so they can save time, improve decision-making and build trust and engagement with citizens." OpenGov's tools are public-facing, but governments can secure or limit access to any of the sites. Other companies are working on ways to make government nancial data more open. Mo'Mix Solutions, for instance, offers an Open Data Trans- parency Platform, while cloud software rm Socrata sells various open data tools. Both companies also provide tools for government workers to man- age web publishing. Some jurisdictions such as New York City are publishing their data on GitHub for developers to exploit. In contrast, localities don't need new technologies or tools with OpenGov. Despite the bene ts that these decision-making tools offer, the Inter- national City/County Management As- sociation reported in a December 2013 white paper less than 25 percent use their nancial reports to help inform their policy decisions. The associa- tion also found that annual nancial reporting costs taxpayers $10,000 to $50,000, although larger communities spend more than $200,000. That's no longer a sustainable operating procedure, Hausladen said. His city is set to roll out more open data offerings in the next few months, including New Haven Connect, a web- site that lists all available city apps and some open data sets. "The era of controlling one's data is almost dead, and in New Haven, we're going to be continually putting out data in an open manner to make sure that citizens have as much con dence in government as we can reasonably provide," he said. • For agencies on a budget, financial analysis as a service 8 GCN SEPTEMBER 2014 • GCN.COM BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ "The era of controlling one's data is almost dead, and in New Haven, we're going to be continually putting out data in an open manner to make sure that citizens have as much confidence in government as we can reasonably provide." -- DOUG HAUSLADEN, DIRECTOR, NEW HAVEN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION