Converse County, Wyoming Navigates Boom and Bust Cycles with Fiscal Transparency through OpenGov
Anyone has the ability to drill down and visualize specific revenue sources on demand.
“For the first time, interested citizens could see the visual, interactive story of how the oil boom affected County finances, including what revenue came in and where it went,” Schell and Hiser said. “They could see that although revenues doubled, so did the costs of maintaining roads, retaining employees, housing additional prisoners, and combating higher crime.”
Journalists, too, gained instant access not just to the financials, but the story behind them. Time-consuming records requests dropped, saving valuable staff resources. In fact, editors from the Casper Star-Tribune publicly thanked County staff for implementing the OpenGov platform, calling it a solution for a “new era of transparency and accountability.”
By partnering with OpenGov, Converse County was able to effectively articulate and illustrate the real-life dynamics of the budgeting process to residents and non-financial staff. “We use OpenGov to explain why we can’t just spend” during boom times Schell explained. “All of a sudden, we could put the visuals in front of people. That helped articulate the story.”