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Open Government as an Efficient and Effective Public Financial Management Framework

Open Government as an Efficient and Effective Public Financial Management Framework

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Open Government as an Efficient and Effective Public Financial Management Framework--How DOT affected real policy and internal culture change to ensure the Department truly became more transparent, participatory, and collaborative by looking at the culture, policy, and technology issues involved in enhancing the DOT’s financial management efficiency and effectiveness.

H. Giovanni Leusch-Carnaroli, Grant Thornton
Nick Skytland, NASA

May 22, 2013
Open Government as an Efficient and Effective Public Financial Management Framework--How DOT affected real policy and internal culture change to ensure the Department truly became more transparent, participatory, and collaborative by looking at the culture, policy, and technology issues involved in enhancing the DOT’s financial management efficiency and effectiveness.

H. Giovanni Leusch-Carnaroli, Grant Thornton
Nick Skytland, NASA

May 22, 2013

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09/22/2013

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Open Government as an Efficient and Effective Public Financial Management Framework

H. Giovanni Leusch-Carnaroli, Grant Thornton Nick Skytland, NASA
May 22, 2013
1

Why we are here
• "The main reason why the most important data is either not published, not standardized, or both is that it's nobody's job," Hollister explained. "Consider federal spending data as an example. Grantees and contractors report to the agencies on how they spend federal funds. Agencies report their financial statements to Treasury and their budget actions to OMB. GSA maintains databases of grants and contracts. Treasury cuts all the checks and maintains a record of expenditures. All of these different compilations are maintained by different offices of different agencies and organized differently.... Nobody is in charge of putting the data together and publishing it."
Tuutti, Camile (2013, March 10). Transparency Advocates Give Administration Mixed Marks. Federal Computer 2 Week. Retrieved on March 12, 2013 from http://fcw.com/articles/2013/03/10/open-gov-advocates.aspx

A new initiative comes along…

The President issues Open Government Directive, Agencies must implement and measure the value. How do you get there?

Open Government is not a program unto itself – it is, first and foremost, a business transformation tool designed to drive mission performance and public value.
3

Open Government strategic direction & goals

S

Strengths

W

Challenges
Weaknesses

O

Opportunities

T

Threats

Solutions

Agencies should Identify the key strengths and opportunities through the SWOT analysis, as well as the challenges and strategies for mitigating and solving the risks posed by these issues.
4

Strategic approach

To take root, Open Gov principles should be promoted at all levels of an agency.

5

What are the end goals of transparency in Federal spending? Be accountable to the public Put Federal spending in context Show performance Describe what taxpayers get for the money Outline how funds are being allocated Promote accomplishments and results Facilitate decision-making Educate the public with information Enhance public engagement and collaboration Move to customer-centric focus
6

Outlining how funds are spent can be fun!
http://blog.ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/archive/2011/04/09/7Infographics-That-Almost-Make-the-Federal-Budget-Fun.aspx

7

Financial transparency takes center stage in the U.S.

8

Transportation accounted for $80 billion in grants

http://arra-gis.dot.gov/#

9

States were quick to adopt 'best practices'

http://www.in.gov/itp/2340.htm

10

States embraced financial transparency

http://www.texastransparency.org/

11

Excellence is evident at all levels of government

http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=935

12

With counties providing great examples of transparency

http://lookatcook.com/

13

Meanwhile, in the Nation's capital …

14

Several cities have led the way in transparency

https://data.cityofnewyork.us/

15

Civil society organizations have kept a watchful eye …

http://sunlightfoundation.com/

16

… Tying transparency to democracy

17

What are the challenges in making Federal spending information transparent?
Reporting burden versus utility of the information (cost/benefit) Rationalizing different reporting requirements Putting information into context

Understanding what the public wants to see
Determining how to display or present the information, including making the data available Initiating efforts to ―push‖ financial information to constituents rather than having them focus solely on having them ―pull‖ information
18

Transparency is to reduce waste, fraud and abuse

New charges filed in bid-rigging case Mar. 25, 2013 "A once-prominent Northern Virginia technology contractor is facing bribery charges accusing the firm of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks for contract work and using bogus references to gain entry into a government set-aside program — the latest development in the largest bid-rigging case in U.S. history."

http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20130325/ACQUISITION03/303250004/New-chargesfiled-bid-rigging-case?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
19

When there is transparency … there is oversight
$6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts November 17, 2009
"Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist. According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to ―create or save‖ just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districts–almost $225,000 per job. "

http://watchdog.org/1530/6-4-billion-stimulus-goes-to-phantom-districts/
20

Need to enable agility, manage risk
Accountability law ignored by recipients of stimulus money July 13, 2010 "Taxpayers are left wondering how more than $1.175 billion in federal stimulus money was used because in hundreds of cases recipients ignored the law and did not report how they spent it."

http://watchdog.org/5762/accountability-law-ignored-by-recipients-of-stimulus-money/

21

Are we measuring the right things?
Balance error rate messaging with payment accuracy and program integrity context Report error rate segments by root cause and focus actions on citizen-centric, high-impact portions of the rate Engage IG/audit community together with program and finance officials Explore techniques/tools to estimate potential fraud Ensure that error rates and related messaging are appropriately characterized so resources are focused on actions that have greatest impact on reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Federal programs

22

Putting spending information in context

23 http://usaspending.gov/

What story should spending information tell the public?

http://yourbudgit.com/index.php/home/visualize http://yourbudgit.com/index.php/home/visualize
24

The Open Government Partnership is committed to global transparency

25

Measuring outcomes can be challenging
One of DOT’s strategic objectives is Safety. To further that objective, DOT initiated the Global Campaign to End Distracted Driving, a traditional and social media approach to a policy issue.

Some Statistics on DOT Secretary …
• 8,753 ―Likes‖ on Facebook • 28,422 followers on Twitter

So where are we now?
• 35 states (plus DC & Guam) ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of those laws passed in 2010 alone! • 9 states (plus DC & Virgin Islands) prohibit handheld cell use while driving It’s not just “social media” … it’s the application of a powerful tool to communicate the Department’s mission in an open way to generate positive mission outcomes, communicate performance objectives, and achieve them.

26

Criticism should not detract from the ultimate goal
USASpending.gov numbers off by $1.3 trillion, report says Sept. 8, 2010 "HHS did not report $495 billion in spending to USASpending.gov in 2009, which represented more than half of the department’s total spending that year, the report states. Ranking second through fifth in failure to report in the watchdog group's ClearSpending project report were: • The Veterans Affairs Department, $48 billion unreported. • The Agriculture Department, $14 billion unreported. • The Social Security Administration, $13 billion unreported. • The Railroad Retirement Board, $11 billion unreported."

http://fcw.com/articles/2010/09/08/usaspending.gov-numbers-off-by-1.3-trillion-watchdog-says.aspx

27

How can we leverage technology to increase efficiency and information availability? Fully using needed technology that is already provided in software solutions Identify/establish key linkages of financial and non-financial information Increase use of Communities of Practice around common functions Standardization of platforms Automated, real-time reconciliations Reuse of data/information Engage citizens and other stakeholders
28

Citizen engagement combines science + data + design

http://solweather.com/ http://marsweather.ingenology.com/

29

Adoption of social media will continue to rise
The rise of the social media and new tech market has provided opportunities for agencies to become more transparent. Although these tools have been available for several years, adoption in has shown significant increase in the public sector.

Gartner Research, "Hype Cycle for Business Use of Social Media" 2010 30

Using data for useful applications …

31

… provides transparency in financial data to public

32 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appbuilder.u187845p449799

Data and challenges combined to add value

http://www.transparency.org/hackathon/ 33

Creating digital public space for better decision-making
Much of what U.S. DOT does has a strong public involvement angle - better involvement means better policies, and an effective digital space can enable this.

Some Statistics…
• Piloted 4 rules on Regulation Room – over 1,200 users and 24,000 comments • Conducted online dialogues around DOT, FAA, and FMCSA strategic plans • Created national dialogues on blue-collar women in transportation, regulatory review, and environmental justice

Does it work?
The dialogue on the Digital Transportation Exchange extended well beyond Washington, DC.

34

Participation map – who are the key stakeholders?

The extent of the participation drove the quality of the dialogue.
35

Conclusions • Both financial data and performance data needed for decision-assist

• Access to, and quality of, data is essential
• Focus on significant performance metrics • Move out of compliance into predictive analysis • Engage in stakeholder dialogue • Engage citizens in the process! The mission and the objective drive the process and the technology, but the people make it happen
36

Questions

37

WWW.GRANTTHORNTON.COM OPEN.NASA.GOV
GIOVANNI.LEUSCH-CARNAROLI@US.GT.COM NICHOLAS.G.SKYTLAND@NASA.GOV
38

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