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3 reasons transparency is important

October 1, 2013

Every local office needs to invest in open and transparent government efforts, be it a town, county or city council. Regardless of whether citizens are highly satisfied with the way their leaders are running things or if the budget is in order, transparency is a key part of governing today, and ensuring that the right tools are in place to maintain it as technology and expectations evolve is critical. What may satisfy citizens today might not tomorrow, and the budget could become far more complex five months from now, leaving a local council scrambling to pick up the pieces of a once efficient machine.

Regardless of individual efforts, there are easy ways to enhance adherence to federal open government initiatives. For a town, city or county, the simple answer is to invest in a high-quality platform that already takes these standards into consideration. However, local councils should understand the reasons why this is important in order to make the most informed decision possible.

Keep costs low
Optimizing transparency and open government efforts now can keep the overall cost of such initiatives low. Should a council have to scramble to invest in such tools after it has become a problem, it may have to spend more to get solutions up and running. By investing now, leaders can incorporate the expense into their budgets and ensure they are getting the most bang for their buck.

Minimize interruptions
Integrating new systems for record keeping, meeting minutes software and other solutions that improve transparency can be disruptive to the workflow. Making such an investment when things are already running poorly will compound issues until the solution takes hold and start improving things. However, doing so when everything is seamlessly working will minimize interruptions to workflow and administrative duties, ensuring that integration goes smoothly.

Maintain compliance
Just because things are running smoothly doesn't mean an office is operating as it should be. Compliance regulations are evolving as technology improves and open government expectations expand. What worked for a local office last year may not be feasible next year, and it requires key investments into meeting management solutions and other tools to ensure officials are meeting state and federal demands for data access and record archiving.

IQM2's high-quality solutions for transparency can help local government offices approach these solutions with ease, staying within tight budgets and ensure that both citizen and official guidelines for open government are met with ease.