Pekin, Illinois Increases Financial Transparency and Civic Engagement
POPULATION: 34,081 | AGENCY TYPE: City | ANNUAL BUDGET: $72 Million
Break down transactions into itemized views, then compare them to the whole budget and past years for greater context.
The presentation was a resounding success for Evans and Newcomb. “When a council member asked a question about a specific department or budget item, we were able to drill down and show them exactly where the data was. We never had the capability to do that before,” Newcomb explained. “It really brought the budget closer to the people and made it more understandable,” Evans added. “Citizens and council members appreciated the increased transparency. They could see the city’s expenses in context and interact with them. It’s much better than me flipping through papers or a thousand-row spreadsheet to answer a question. The ease of the whole thing is phenomenal.”
Better Reporting in Less Time
With the new platform, Evans anticipates that she will increase the quality and frequency of reports to council and citizens without increasing the time involved in creating them. “We’ve never really put reports of any kind online for citizens to see the day-to-day or month-to-month before. It will be new and different,” explained Evans. “Before, getting information out of our ERP took time; now the information is out there for whomever wants to see it.”