Building a More Transparent and Open Government
County Executive Johnny Olszewski is committed to building a more transparent, open and accountable government. He created the Office of Government Reform and Strategic Initiatives (GRSI) to foster transparency, openness and accountability across County departments and launch initiatives to support innovative, connected, and responsive governing. GRSI is leading efforts to modernize government operations, including:
- Overseeing program reviews of department functions
- Creating and managing BCSTAT, the County’s first data-driven performance management program
- Supporting the development of outcome budgeting
- Spearheading an open data initiative
BCSTAT is Baltimore County’s Data-Driven Performance Management program, whose mission is to create accountability, improve performance, ensure data quality and increase transparency across Baltimore County. The team consists of the Chief Data and Performance Officer and four performance analysts. The BCSTAT team works in partnership with individual departments, using data analysis to assess, monitor and improve County functions and services. BCSTAT is part of the County Executive’s goal to create a data-driven culture of accountability within County government.
In addition to the regular department level meetings, BCSTAT is convening “Priority STATS”, a cross-departmental, collaborative focus on the County Executive’s top priorities. These Priority STATS will apply a data lens to specific topics, such as housing and homelessness, sustainability, neighborhoods, and opioids, bringing data analysis to inform decision-making and strategies. Our first ever Priority Stat session will focus on the County’s collective efforts to address the Opioid Epidemic.
Open Data Hub
BCSTAT is also responsible for making data more accessible to Baltimore County residents. The Open Budget platform, launched in the Spring of 2019, shows the County budget in an online, easily understood format. BCSTAT’s open data portal includes “My Neighborhood” and other data related to government functions and services. This goal of this open data initiative is to build trust through transparency.
Program reviews were initially developed to assess and better understand daily operations, business processes, core programs and organizational structures throughout Baltimore County Government. As part of this effort, action plans are being developed to respond to the report findings and help plan for future improvements.
To expand on this work and build on the momentum, Baltimore County engaged with Public Works, LLC on February 17, 2021 to conduct a more comprehensive, countywide operational efficiency review of all Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) and County departments. Review the BCPS Operational Efficiency Review.
The Baltimore County Efficiency Review includes:
- Operational assessment of departments and agencies
- Review of organizational structures
- Identification of points of redundancy
- Recommendations for process improvements
- Areas and recommendations for cost savings
- Opportunities to leverage funding and create opportunities for new partnerships
View the recommendations.
A plan for implementation of the recommendations will be developed to select the improvements to be made along with the method, timing and costs to do so.
Departments develop action plans in response to their program reviews.