HoCoStat: It’s Time for Citizens to Have a Platform to Hold Government Accountable

HoCoStat:  It’s Time for Citizens to Have a Platform to Hold Government Accountable

This year our operating budget went over $1 billion?  That’s $200 million more than we spent in fiscal year 2011 – a 25% increase.  Are we getting our money’s worth?  Do we know how our money is really being spent?

We should.  We should also know how effectively our tax dollars are being utilized and have the metrics available to be able to make that judgment.

Openness, transparency and accountability will be three hallmarks of my administration.

As County Executive, I will not only make information available and be transparent in my actions, but I will also establish goals in a number of areas that will help government increase responsiveness, improve efficiency and heighten accountability.

To do this, I plan on implementing a countywide system to be known as HoCoStat, a system inspired originally by New York City’s Police Department and subsequently Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and to some extent our very own Howard County Police Department.

For citizens…you deserve a user-friendly tool that allows you to track government’s effectiveness.

HoCoStat will help you make the government more prudent spenders of your hard-earned dollars and help you to understand how government’s priorities are being met.  This unique program will link data to long-term impacts, a component rarely seen in performance measurements systems.  However, it won’t just measure dollars, but response and process times for various government functions.

For government employees…you do a tremendous job serving the people of Howard County. 

Equipping you with a system like HoCoStat to manage the work you do will enable you to better coordinate service delivery and encourage collaboration among county agencies.  It will also provide you a platform to be able to initiate and implement changes that improve the way you are able to perform your job and serve the citizens of Howard County.

AS COUNTY EXECUTIVE I WILL…

Guide HoCoStat design:

  • Convene government employees to understand existing outcomes and then develop a series of public safety, health, environmental, economic development, transportation, and zoning outcomes that can be measured and included in HoCoStat;
  • Support the Howard County Public School System in its efforts to build on the progress it has made in recent years with respect to data collection;
  • Meet with citizen/community groups, businesses, and non-profit organizations to learn what they want from HoCoStat;
  • Assemble teams within county agencies to monitor performance data collected through HoCoStat;
  • Expedite the implementation of the recently passed open data legislation.

Show how available data drives progress:

  • Create an online tool for citizens who can view government program performance by outcome category;
  • Report HoCoStat results to citizens at quarterly town hall meetings;
  • Hold executive-level HoCoStat meetings to analyze past, present, and future data;
  • Execute changes to service delivery to increase government agency productivity.

Click here to read about Montgomery County’s CountyStat.

 

This post was written by
A lifelong resident of Howard County, twice elected to represent the 9th District in the Maryland State Senate, Allan Kittleman is running for Howard County Executive to strengthen Howard County schools, to bring jobs and economic development to Howard County, and to restore bipartisan, independent leadership to the County.