Open for Business: Leveraging Open Government to Improve Agency Operations, Part 3

This is the third post in a three part series about the newly released report, Open for Business: Leveraging Open Government to Improve Agency Operations.

I’d encourage you to check out the newly released open government analyst briefing by the Government Business Council, the research arm of Government Executive magazine, and OpenText. The report includes a high-level overview of the current state of open government, what it means, and how it can improve operations. Government employees share how they’ve improved internal processes and public services.

One of the quotes from the briefing that struck me as particularly meaningful was, “Doing more with less is the motto of the federal government right now,” said Mark Mandel, Records Management Practice Manager for OpenText Public Sector Solutions. That is the challenge for government, and why open government initiatives need to continue to be put in place, better measurements developed and innovation encouraged at the federal level.

An interesting element of the brief was that there were numerous case studies about open government from all levels of government. Whether it was from Wayne County, Michigan or the National Archives and Records Administration, it is clear that when implemented correctly, open government can have an enormous positive impact on governance.

Openness in government is often hotly debated. Alex Benay of Open Text stated, “Openness gives citizens a greater voice and allows federal employees to spend time with more value-based work, like engaging with stakeholders and continuing to modernize operations.”

The briefing also provides a great case study from Wayne County, Michigan:


Wayne County, Michigan, the automotive capital of the world, suffered in the financial crisis in 2008. County revenues dropped and the government, based in Detroit, lost 50 percent of its workforce. Wayne County needed to ensure that key constituent services continued to function. In prior years,

the county had begun an internal review process
of its mandatory and secondary services, but a lack of resources called for quick action.

“When you are down on resources it necessitates creativity. The way to do that is with technology,” said Zayd Allebban of the Wayne County Department of Technology.1

Zayd and his team—led by CIO Tahir Kazmi— implemented OpenText’s automated solutions. Wayne County was able to eliminate manual processes and reduce cycle time for key procedures, achieve cost-savings, and capture data for real-time reporting

The briefing holds a lot of great information about open government. If you would like to read the brief in its entirety, I would encourage you to take a look here.

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