Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Uses OpenGov to Uncover Insights and Engage Public
POPULATION: 815,000 | AGENCY TYPE: County | ANNUAL BUDGET: $371 Million
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In another case, during this period, Montgomery County noticed its utility costs had fallen from $6.6 million to less than $4 million annually. Using OpenGov, Monson analyzed trends in utility expenditures to determine why costs were declining. By drilling into multi-year data, Monson determined that the decline was largely due to a combination of lower prices and reduced usage. These insights “inform planning discussions in a meaningful way,” he shared.
OpenGov’s ability to display data by expense types across departments gave Monson and his staff new insights into leave payouts, which he noted were a “huge cost issue for us.” For example, leave payouts increased dramatically with administration changes. These payouts can be quite expensive, so the ability to analyze multi-year trends is critical. “It helps the budgeting process to be able to see those kind of trend lines in areas that you don’t necessarily examine, as there’s a tendency to look across departments and not hone in on expense type,” Monson explained.
“There are a lot of trends we have discovered with OpenGov, because in the past we never had this kind of detail.”
Uri Monson, CFO, Montgomery County, PA
Monson’s team also used OpenGov to track quarterly and annual Full Time Equivalent (FTE) trends by department and area over time. While this data helped enhance internal budgeting, it also better informed the public in key areas of interest like the popular increase in 911 operators. Monson noted, “A significant portion of government budgeting involves labor, and the ability to analyze FTE trends is helpful when determining where to put your resources.” For example, OpenGov allows decision-makers like Monson to explore how FTE trends have changed relative to external contracting.