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.
The purpose of the program reviews is to assess each department from an operational perspective. The GRSI program review team works in collaboration with department leadership and key staff to understand operations, business processes, core programs and organizational structure. The program review team also meets with internal and external stakeholders to gain additional insight into working with County departments. These program reviews will enable department leadership to identify opportunities for improvement and develop sustainable strategies for ongoing success.
Departments develop action plans in response to their program reviews. Current department action plans are linked below in PDF format and will open in a new window.