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Achieving Accountability and Transparency through Legislative Management Software

June 12, 2014
by Jacque Porte

When holding our initial scheduling call here at Accela-IQM2, we ask administrators in each organization to present their goals for the software, and the buzz words that most often pop up are accountability and transparency. MediaTraq and MinuteTraq present a universe of options, allowing users to achieve these two goals by connecting with citizens and automating their legislative process.

Accountability is responsibility, and in government not only applies to being responsible for one’s actions, but now also applies to the specifics of who is responsible to whom, as well as including justification for one’s actions and decisions. Those seeking accountability emphasize MinuteTraq’s Workflow Designer, which helps users create a consistent series of routing steps dependent on an item’s category, originating department, or target meeting.

Transparency implies openness and communication, and agencies striving towards a transparent organization are typically responding to new public meeting requirements, citizen requests for information, or revised strategic goals from administrative staff. These organizations seek out legislative management to help provide a forum for viewing live and past meetings, searching older documentation, and downloading current agendas and minutes.

While these two terms can refer to completely different goals and applications, transparency and accountability need each other and can be mutually reinforcing. The next task, then, is for our clients to decide how they want to balance these two concepts. Perhaps the users will consider whether they want their accountability practices, realized through MinuteTraq’s Workflow Designer, to be displayed on the web portal, thus fulfilling transparency goals, and whether they will allow citizens to comment on items via the web portal or sign up as speakers for public meetings via the web, enabling members of the community to take part in the legislative process.

Ultimately, it is up to each organization to determine how they will balance transparency and accountability, and it is up to administrators to ensure they seek out a system which has the flexibility to address every permutation of this balancing act.

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About IQM2
IQM2 is a market leader in furnishing end-to-end public meeting and Open Government software solutions through their award-winning Open Meeting Management System applications including MinuteTraq (agenda process improvement), MediaTraq (Live/On-Demand Video Streaming) and E-Boardroom (electronic voting).

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