Route Fifty: A No-Cost Open Data Platform? Some CA Counties Say Yes Please

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Since June, five counties have taken OpenGov up on its offer to cover the cost of their first year on its financial transparency platform.

BY DAVE NYCZEPIR NOVEMBER 10, 2015 

Five California counties announced Tuesday they’ve accepted Innovate Your State grants covering their first year of OpenGov’s cloud-based financial analysis platform—the first in the state to take the offer.

Kern, Sutter, Placer, Napa, and Mendocino counties took the deal. That makes 17 counties total in California deploying the transparency software to allow more than 10 million residents digital access to their local governments’ budgets.

Through its Fix California Challenge, Innovate Your State awarded OpenGov $500,000 in reimbursement grants in June to be doled out to county applicants on a first come, first serve basis.

“Kern County continues to be a leader in providing accurate, timely, and transparent financial data to the public and for internal analysis,” Jason Wiebe, a Kern County administrative analyst, said in the announcement. “The OpenGov platform fits perfectly with our goal of being a leader in open data, transparency, and citizen engagement.”

With one in four counties now using OpenGov in the Golden State, 41 are left to vie for the remaining grant money. The Redwood City, California-based company’s CEO, Zac Bookman, previously told Route Fifty that funding was sufficient to reimburse all counties likely to apply, though the service packages they select could change that for latecomers.

Government administrators can use OpenGov to share financial and performance numbers with both staff and the public to improve operational efficiency and empower data-driven decisionmaking. Leveraging the information, officials can better engage citizens and build trust by showing them exactly how their tax dollars are spent.

California counties can learn more about the grant application process here.

Originally posted at RouteFifty.  

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