How Montgomery County Instituted Financial Transparency

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 11.31.47 AMAs we prepare for GovLoop’s first-ever State and Local Innovators Virtual Summit, we and the presenters are posting blogs about many of the sessions and some of the tips they will share. The summit is October 22nd and free for everyone — make sure to register here!  

“How is government spending my tax dollars” is a very common question asked my millions of Americans.  Now, with smartphones, social media and the explosion of data, people expect these answers quickly and to be easily accessible. State and local governments are working to provide these answers through financial transparency projects that encourage participation, further discussion and collaboration. We all know how important government transparency, particularly financial transparency, is. Moreover, we know how essential open data initiatives are to releasing information to the public. But how exactly is this done? Which governments are already implementing successful projects? What can you learn from them?

Montgomery County, Maryland is a role model for open data innovation and government transparency. The Montgomery County Open Data Portal provides residents with access to county data covering many topics through a variety of ways including mobile apps. Recently, they have co-developed and introduced several new transparency tools using their open data portal, dataMontgomery. One of these new tools is spendingMontgomery, which was developed in partnership with Socrata to help taxpayers understand County spending. Through these projects, Montgomery County has learned a lot and lucky for us, they are sharing their best practices in an upcoming online training. Join Karen Hawkins, Finance Chief Operating Officer and Victoria Lewis, dataMontgomery Project Manager at 12:30PM ET on October 22 to learn:

  • Why the County prioritized helping citizens understand the government process, from filing claims to the budget
  • How other government organizations can begin to open up their data
  • What Montgomery County hopes to accomplish with the Open Spending app and the future of their financial transparency programs
  • Success factors and best practices for implementing open data projects

Open data projects have the ability to transform how people interact with their government. It has the power to educate people on government processes and encourage further participation in government activities. By attending this training, you’ll learn how one county got started — what worked and what didn’t.

“How Montgomery County Instituted Financial Transparency”  is part of GovLoop’s State and Local Innovators Virtual Summit, an all-day, virtual event with 6 different online trainings, networking opportunities and resources to help you do your job better. It takes place on October 22nd. You can see the schedule and register here for free. You can earn up to 6 CPEs by attending, so be sure to register! 

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