Facilitator: Jill Miller Zimon
Three major takeaways:
- The public encounters multiple and varied obstacles to finding, accessing and receiving data and information related to how much money is collected and how that money is spent. These obstacles hinder the public’s ability to follow the choices made by those charged with appropriations and, subsequently, hinders the public’s ability to comment on the public policy inherent in those choices.
- Since a great deal of the data already exists electronically, “freeing” the data is a matter of prioritization and political will. There is at least nominal evidence that the County Executive and the County Council have both prioritized the need to make this data accessible and to exert the political will to make it so.
- A comprehensive budget dashboard and portal that can be built out overtime needs to be created in order to provide access to all budget related documents and serve as both a warehouse and a clearinghouse.
- Identify and make contact with those parties the group identified as needing to be at the table: County IT, OBM, Council, Procurement, TAP/Cleveland Coalition (Jill Miller Zimon work w/Beth Sebian)
- Establish a liaison/contact between the County Government and the Budget Group (Jill work w/Beth)
- Schedule a follow-up meeting with the budget group (Jill work with Beth). Agenda for meeting will include:
- Update regarding group participation, especially County involvement
- Timeline for actions identified already
- Draft proposed language for policy statement on transparency and Council resolution regarding expansion of data formats.
August 15: Identify and make contact with those parties identified as needing to be at the table: County IT, OBM, Council, Procurement, TAP/Cleveland Coalition
Sept. 15: Budget Group Follow-up Meeting
Oct. 1: Draft specific timeline of steps group should take to facilitate creation of budget dashboard and web and mobile apps related to it
Oct. 1: Make formal request to County Council to pass resolution stating support for all budget data to be released in multiple formats
Oct. 1: Make formal request for County-wide policy statement that acknowledges need for transparency to be implicit in the work of OBM, the budget and budgeting
Budget Group: A group made up of responsible for improving and securing the … of County budget data and information
- Akron Open Books Online http://www.ci.akron.oh.us/finance/Default.asp
- Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer
- Budget of the United States Government http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/
- Sunshine Review: Ohio State Budget http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Ohio_state_budget
- State of Ohio Transparency Website http://transparency.ohio.gov/
- U.S. PIRG: Washington, D.C.: Report Card Ranks 50 States on Transparency of Spending http://www.uspirg.org/news-releases/tax-and-budget/tax-and-budget-news/washington-d.c.-report-card-ranks-50-states-on-transparency-of-spending
- OhioPIRG: Government Transparency Government Spending Is Public’s Right-To-Know http://www.ohiopirg.org/newsletters/fall09/transparency
[Please note: no Cuyahoga County representative was present in this session]