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Better government transparency can enable greater trust in government and facilitate a more citizen centric connection.  Without open government, citizens cannot garner insight into fiscal policy, program effectiveness and ultimately public value of government activities.  Without transparency, citizens can’t understand why decisions were made to allocate finite resources or participate in an educated way to bring about government action. 

For example, continued loss of tax payer revenues has not only increased constituent calls for additional citizens’ services but also greater transparency.  Government agencies have made progress towards becoming more transparent but, open government initiatives vary greatly in accuracy, timeliness and level of openness.  Many websites enable citizens to analyze information.  However, many are  static visualizations of how tax dollars are spent.  Government organizations typically do not enable the average citizen to truly interrogate the data for greater insight.  Rather, the existing technology delivers facts and outcomes from the government entities own perspective.

 Government can do better… 

Transparency initiatives should begin to leverage newer innovative technologies to enable citizens to gain instant access to more knowledge.  New technological innovation combines the simplicity and speed of search with the trust and analytical power to provide immediate answers to time sensitive questions. Groundbreaking in memory technology can accelerate the ability for constituents to see the latest data rather than experiencing the long delays  we have all come to expect. This technology enables citizens to slice and dice data to answer many unanticipated questions since they don’t have to wait for answers to their original inquiry.  And, they have  access to that information from anywhere via a smart mobile device.

The result… relevant information in real time to constituents where and when they want it. In turn, reducing cycles on one off inquiries from citizens to government. 

Could leveraging technology innovation actually be a rare win/win situation?  How can your organization empower citizens? And what would that mean?

In my next blog, we will take a closer look at transparent and agile government organizations and the technologies enabling them.

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