Connecting state and local government leaders
Letting transparency take root in a municipal government.
This is the 38th in a series of profiles on the 50 finalists for Route Fifty’s Navigator Awards program. The first 10 finalists were from the Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners category. Finalists 11-20 were from the Agency and Department Leadership category. Finalists 21-30 were from the Executive Leadership category. Finalists 31-40 were from the Next Generation category. Finalists 41-50 are from the Data and IT Innovators category. Explore our complete list of 50 finalists.
When looking at the benefits of transparent government, the focus is usually on the general public. And that’s for a good reason: When government is more open and makes its information more accessible, citizens have a better sense for what their leaders are accomplishing (or not accomplishing) and how their tax dollars are being spent.
But internally, government operations also benefit. Embracing transparency means making agency and department information and data more accessible for internal stakeholders. It can break down silos across a government jurisdiction. And it can lead to efficiencies, cost savings and, hopefully, the elimination of frustrating information management obstacles.
In Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, Andrew McCreery has been leading the charge to improve transparency in his municipality.
As finance director, the municipality started using transparency and data tools from Redwood City, California-based OpenGov, which has made it easier to explain complex issues like pensions and bond issues to commissioners during meetings without using cumbersome PowerPoint presentations. It's also made that information more easily accessible to the public.
This push came naturally to McCreery, a Route Fifty Navigator Award finalist. According to a nomination submission:
McCreery frequently says that, as a millennial, he expects quick communication of data and insights across departments and information silos. After all, in the consumer world, this is the norm.
But that’s not always easy in government. And thanks to McCreery, transparency has taken root in Mount Lebanon.
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.