New Open Data Program Improves Access to County Financial Information
News Release from County of Maui Nov 4, 2016
Wailuku — Members of the public will now be able to more easily access Maui County financial performance data, thanks to new open data software.
To access the financial information web users may visit www.mauicounty.gov/data and they will be directed to the new Performance Maui County webpage. Through this webpage interested users can check out all aspects of the county budget, including sources of revenue, the operating budget and capital budget, as well as any related details.
Although the county’s financial data has always been available publicly it would sometimes require residents to wade through hundreds of pages of scanned documents. Instead, citizens can see data using charts, graphs and other images that are much easier to understand and digest.
“By making data easily accessible, the county hopes to encourage citizens to become more familiar with how their government is performing, engage with the community, and build tools and resources that ultimately make Maui County an even better place to live, work and play”, said Mayor Alan Arakawa.
With the launch of this site, Maui County is among the best-in-class digital governments, ensuring that financial data is easily accessible and understandable for citizens. Performance Maui County is supported by Seattle-based software provider, Socrata, a global provider of open data and government performance management solutions.
Maui County leveraged Socrata’s financial transparency suite of applications, which make it easy for governments large and small to publish budget, revenue and spending data quickly, economically and in a consumer-friendly way.
“Performance Maui County went live to the public on November 1, 2016. The added layer of transparency strives to increase constituent trust, and drive accountability within local government.” said Budget Director and project lead, Sandy Baz.
Open Data is gaining momentum in governments large and small around the world. It takes data that is gathered by government and funded by tax dollars, and makes it accessible digitally, so it’s easy for people and machines to access and use. The county’s open data portal is API-enabled, meaning it’s easy for developers to access the data and use it to build apps and other digital assets.
Publishing data in this way is gaining traction around the world, as innovative governments like Chicago, San Francisco, and New York adopt an “open by default” stance. Maui County is joining these digital leaders with the launch of Performance Maui County for financial and performance data. As more data is available, it will be integrated into the open data platform.
"The open data movement has been taking place throughout local governments nationwide for the past few years,” said Managing Director Keith Regan. “We are proud to join other municipalities in putting our publicly available data in a more accessible place where our citizens will be able to gain insight and better understanding. It is our hope, through this initiative, that the data will be used to help continue to move Maui County forward and open the door to new ways of using data as a tool to improve our community."
“We believe that open data is helping government become a 21st century innovation accelerator, not just a service dispensary," said Kevin Merritt, Founder and CEO of Socrata. "This transformation is significant because it updates how citizens and governments interact, making more collaboration and a greater quality of life possible,”
For more information on the new Performance Maui County, visit www.mauicounty.gov/data, or contact Sandy Baz at (808) 270-7855.