The state auditor is heralding the beginning of an exciting Citizen Information Revolution
West Virginia is the latest government in the US to adopt the OpenGov platform which increases public access to information.
The OpenGov Smart Government Cloud will allow West Virginians to use a Google-style search bar to track government spending, and also make it easier for public officials to share complex financial and performance data in simple, understandable reports. The new software will enable more transparent governance and informed decision-making as state legislators face historic budget deficits.
"We believe this partnership with OpenGov is just the beginning of an exciting ’Citizen Information Revolution’ in West Virginia," said state auditor John B McCuskey. "My primary goal for this office has always been maintaining public trust through the building of a successful programme for accountability and financial transparency in state government.
“Citizens statewide have told me repeatedly they want and need to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent, easily and efficiently. OpenGov is officially now our platform to provide everyone with the most accurate and open financial data, available on electronic devices we all use every day. Transparency in state government is now in place."
The West Virginia State Auditor’s Office plans to have the OpenGov Smart Government Cloud up and running this summer so citizens can access useful data and legislators can build consensus around priorities as the state faces a dire financial deficit.
Auditor McCuskey said his goal is to make West Virginia the most transparent state in the nation and the new platform will help identify potential savings and put the power back in the the hands of everyday citizens to hold their government officials accountable.
"At OpenGov, our mission is to power more effective and accountable government," said OpenGov CEO and co-founder Zac Bookman.
"West Virginia’s commitment is truly impressive and part of a growing movement across states to modernise technology and embrace cloud solutions. With OpenGov, West Virginians will now be able to see and understand how their tax dollars are being spent, and public officials will be able to easily report and track financial information."
West Virginia joins a growing number of governments nationwide who rely on OpenGov’s next generation cloud software. The City of Boston recently launched its updated open data platform, Analyze Boston, and the cities of Birmingham, Phoenix, and West Chester Ohio have also announced their own open data and transparency efforts powered by OpenGov.
West Virginia’s neighbouring state of Ohio turned to OpenGov’s technology to improve state-wide transparency efforts. In December 2014, the state partnered with OpenGov to bring "checkbook-level" spending detail to all of Ohio’s local government entities after being ranked 46 out of 50 states in financial transparency by the US Public Interest Research Group’s Follow the Money Report. Thanks to this partnership, Ohio has been ranked number 1 by the same report for the past two years.
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