Transparency Florida Government Finance Officer’s Association November 20, 2013
So you want Transparency? • Are you sure? • Hopefully that means you think you know what transparency means to you. • What is it?
If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer. Attributed to Yogi Berra
Transparency, what it is not • Free access for everyone at any time for anything • A fancy website • Live online meetings • Free records
These are a part of the government solution to transparency, but not the whole picture.
Transparency, what is it? • State of mind. • Philosophy has to be top down before it can be systematic in the organization. • It is an expressed intent to show that there is nothing to hide.
Lessons Learned • Transparency has no value if the information is not correct. • Notification fatigue (Bob Behn) • Data Dump • How can you provide information without being transparent?
“Don’t just provide the requested data. Don’t just provide the key data. Instead, provide all the available data. This is obfuscation by disclosure.” -Bob Behn
Culture • Make it easy for people to ask. • Staff needs to be accessible. That means that they have to spend time in the community not just in the office. • Make sure that you follow-up timely.
Culture • Make your internal organization transparent. There is a better chance your staff will emulate.
North Port’s Transparency • City Clerk’s Office is easily accessible for public records requests. • City Clerk sets high expectation for timely response. • City Clerk quickly gets meetings online for both audio and video. • City Clerk quickly posts agenda and backup material in a timely manner.
North Port’s Transparency • Staff at Community meetings • Community Outreach Manager • Annual Community Conversations in neighborhoods • Weekly Highlights • Monthly Department reports
North Port’s Transparency • Your News Now! • List Serve (email notifications) • Flicker • YouTube • Live Streaming of Board Meetings • Currents • Distinction • Financial---Open Check book
North Port’s Transparency • Weekly Highlights • Month Department reports • Your News Now! • List Serve • Financial---Open Check book • Online Community Conversation
Parting Thoughts • Since transparency is not a specifically defined action, but rather a cultural expectation Clerk are crucial to the idea of being a transparent City. • It is not what you do, it is how you do it. • We ought to be telling what we are doing, what we are spending, and what we are accomplishing.