City website a good first step toward government transparency

Fulfilling a campaign promise by Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth is jumping on the open data government bandwagon. Last month, the city launched an online portal that provides direct access to a wellspring of public information.

Open data sites like the city’s new are based on the principle that government data is a public asset — like parks and roads — and should be made readily available to everyone.

Michele Gutt, the city’s director of communication and public engagement, told council members in April that improving access to public data will not only improve government accountability but will also increase efficiency.

For example, the city could post performance goals on the website and track their measurement for all to see. It could also free up staffers in departments that spend undue amounts of time tracking down data for constituents. Continue>>>