Covington Opens City's Books to the Public Using New Digital Platform
The City of Covington announced today the launch of a new digital platform powered by OpenGov that provides the public unprecedented access to the city’s financial and operational information. In its first release, the city is including its financial data.
The OpenGov platform displays the city’s financial data in an interactive, digital format that enables better analysis and understanding of the city’s finances. It is designed to make it easier for both external and internal audiences to explore how taxpayer money is collected and spent. The platform can be accessed at https://covingtonky.opengov.com/.
Government spending and revenue detail from 2014 to the present can be viewed in the user-friendly, web-based portal. Users can compare historical revenue and expenditure trends over different periods of time and explore multiple views of financial data, including by fund, department, expense, or revenue type.
For example, visitors to the platform can find answers to frequently asked questions such as “What did the city spend on police services over the past year?” or “How much did the city collect in property taxes?” and then share that information directly from the platform via email or on social media.
“By making our data easily accessible in an interactive, digital format, the city is demonstrating its commitment to an efficient, data-driven open government,” City Manager Larry Klein said. “This portal is designed to bring visibility, openness, and accountability to our operations, beginning with city finances. Next to launch will be Police, Fire and EMS statistics.”
Beyond sharing information with the public, the city will also use OpenGov internally for creating reports and budget planning and tracking.
“This software is not only an excellent tool for the public, but it will also add to the efficiency of our internal operations,” said director of finance and operations Lisa Desmarais.
The launch of OpenGov is another initiative in the city’s ongoing effort to increase transparency that began with adoption of a transparency policy in April 2014. The purpose of this policy is to ensure an open and transparent government for the citizens of Covington. Other initiatives include the launch of an economic dashboard feature on the city’s website and the addition of an analytics and intelligence manager to city staff.
From City of Covington/Image: Screenshot of new platform