Against Crony Capitalism,
There is great hope that tech will bring local bureaucrats and crony capitalists if not to heal, at least more into the light in a big way, soon. We are at the beginning of a transformation. (Let’s hope.) As data becomes more and more available, and search engine tools become better and more intuitive, citizens are going to increasingly audit the books of their home towns.
For most government is a black box. Tax dollars go in, something comes out, roads, libraries, sweetheart pension deals for city managers. Now it is becoming increasingly easy to take apart government budgets and examine them. As Bill Frezza explains below.
The only reason one couldn’t fight City Hall in the past (not always true by the way) was because City Hall controlled the information. Now this is less the case, and that is a very good thing for citizens.
Imagine no more. A Silicon Valley startup named OpenGov.com is putting city finances online, along with a suite of analytic tools that make it easy for both city managers and any citizen to dig into the details of their city’s finances, past and present. Since its launch in 2011, OpenGov.com has helped city governments as large as Anaheim, CA and as small as Rockport, Texas, (population 8,766) become more transparent to the citizens they serve and more easily manageable by the elected officials and civil servants who run them. What was once an opaque morass is now a publicly accessible resource.