‘PDS by the Numbers’ now online
More than ever before, ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ are goals being pursued by public agencies at all levels. PDS is no different, uploading its most up-to-date effort last month—an online collaboration with OpenGov.com—to keep those it serves updated.
“PDS has a long history of openness and transparency,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, Executive Director. “And, as sincere as that effort has been, the pace of life today has made it more difficult for citizens to find the time to ask their questions.”
Last summer, Gordon and members of PDS’ management board agreed that the organization needed to update the way it provided accountability to those it serves. They came to agreement quickly that OpenGov, an online platform designed to help build bridges of information, was the solution. Kenton County, Covington, Park Hills, Fort Wright, Edgewood, and Independence also use the tool.
“Several of OpenGov’s capabilities convinced me that this was the way we needed to go,” said Gordon. “OpenGov is interactive which gives viewers the ability to slide and dice data to get answers to their specific questions. It also provides the capability to serve up all kinds of other data, not just financial reports. To me, this was the capability that sold me on the product.”
Gordon and his staff began gathering data on all sorts of PDS staff activities in January 2016. In all, they collect over 90 metrics each month ranging from number of phone calls answered to linear feet of GIS maps produced to the number of inspections completed. He says many of these numbers are now part of the agency’s monthly ‘PDS by the Numbers’ reports.
“To me, being able to provide all facets of our operations—funds expended, and services provided—gives citizens an honest picture of what we do and what its cots,” said Gordon. “I don’t have anything against just providing financial reports except that it only provides part of the picture. ‘PDS by the Numbers’ gives the complete story… and I believe this is a much better level of transparency than serving up just one of them alone.”
‘PDS by the Numbers’ data can be accessed by way of the PDS flagship website.