Fix California Challenge

Create a $2M fund for transparency for California State Agencies

Based on OpenGov’s success working with over a third of California cities and counties (in part from the successful 2015 IYS challenge grant), we propose that FixCA 2016 launch a $2 million fund to help California State Agencies adopt Transparency, Budget Intelligence, and Open-Source Open Data solutions to improve accountability, efficiency, and competition statewide.

 

California spends more than any other state government: over $170 billion yearly. Yet, the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) gives California an “F” for transparency, ranking the state #50 (dead last) in its “Follow the Money 2016” report on openness in state spending. We must do better.

 

In contrast, the State of Ohio ranked #1 (a perfect “A+”) for its OhioCheckbook.com initiative. By putting all state and local government transactions online, Ohio citizens can see how tax dollars are spent and what businesses charge the state. OpenGov is proud to be the technology partner that made this historic effort possible. OpenGov’s data scientists use the data to surface incredible insights and even detect fraud.

 

This fund would cover first year agency-specific license/hosting fees for the following mission-critical technology:

 

-Open Checkbook portals, using proven technology and processes that OpenGov (a CA-based company) uses to power OhioCheckbook.com.

-Budget Intelligence software showing annual and monthly budgets by department and expense type, including current budget-to-actual reports.

-Open Data portals based on CKAN, the world’s most widely used open source, Open Data platform. Agencies will benefit from CKAN’s extensive developer community, while gaining the flexibility of building or maintaining their portal “in-house” or working with vendors offering “enterprise-ready” managed CKAN.

 

By opening financial records, contracts, grants, public safety data, and more, state agencies will build trust with taxpayers and better serve all Californians. The Golden State should be an open state.

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Idea No. 481