Most state governments in the US have a spending transparency site which enables citizens to view and search detailed spending information from across state agencies. A few state governments in the US have performance transparency portals that enable citizens to access performance information for state agencies. In some cases, these performance portals go beyond agency performance information and provide access to information on outcomes.I suggest that the government could develop a national spending and performance transparency site that would enable the public to access information on how government is spending public money, how well public service organizations are performing and how public services are delivering outcomes that improve people’s lives.
I believe this would increase public confidence in the government, encourage people to work with government to improve public services and reduce costs, and encourage greater support for the ‘big society’ paradigm.To reduce development costs and improve its quality, the site could be developed outside government by a charity and apps contests (similar to http://www.appsfordemocracy.org/ and http://nycbigapps.com/challenges/81/) could be used to procure software.The major challenge would be for government to collect performance information as the spending data could come from COINS. However, evidence from the US suggests that centralizing and analyzing performance information results in radical savings ($51 million over three years in Texas) that far outweigh the implementation costs.
- Spending transparency
- Texas - http://www.window.state.tx.us/openbook/
- Missouri - http://mapyourtaxes.mo.gov/MAP/Portal/Default.aspx
- Louisiana - http://wwwprd.doa.louisiana.gov/LaTrac/portal.cfm
- Iowa - http://www.resultsiowa.org/index.html
- Utah - http://performance.utah.gov/