County fires up financial transparency site
August 18, 2017
Want to know how much money the Douglas County Sheriff's Office spends on the jail?
Or how much money building permits bring into the county coffers?
Starting Monday, Douglas County's web site will feature a link to its finances, updated on a weekly basis that will provide the data people have had to call someone to learn in the past.
Chief Technology Officer Sherri McGee told county commissioners that during the 2017-18 budget hearings commissioners received a printout of the county's departmental budget reports.
"They were printed pdfs of 579 pages, and you loved them, and said we needed to put them on the web," McGee said. "I looked at it and said we're not putting 579 pages on the Web."
Instead, McGee said she started investigating a transparency website that would allow the county to upload its financial data in a way that would be useful to anyone seeking the information.
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McGee worked with OpenGov.org which integrates the county's current financial program.
"The public facing OpenGov website will eliminate the need to manually run monthly reports, eliminate the time spent uploading reports to the county's website, provide data that is refreshed weekly, and be a much easier solution for those interested in Douglas County's finances to get the information they need," McGee said in a report to commissioners.
She said that residents, officials and staff members will be able to use the site to customize budget reports, making it easier to get information out.
"We will have this big transparent open data site available," McGee said. "On the back end, managers will be able to slice and dice reports a lot easier than using (the county's software). It will make it easy for directors to use. I'm really excited about it."
Commissioners were impressed with the site.
"I like it, I think it will help efficiencies very much," Commissioner Dave Nelson said.
Commissioner Larry Walsh asked what other Nevada governments are using the site.
McGee said that Incline Village is using OpenGov, while the state and Carson City are using a different vendor on their web sites.
Douglas County is redoing its website at http://www.douglascountynv.gov