Framingham Online News

Framingham and Holliston to Sign Community Compacts

February 14, 2016 (4:04 pm EST)
Filed under: Politics,Public Meetings,Technology by News Staff

[photo] MA Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Chair, Community Compact Cabinet

MA Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Chair, Community Compact Cabinet

FRAMINGHAM, MA - On Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will join officials from the Town of Framingham, (and officials from the Town of Holliston), in the Ablondi Room of the Memorial Building located at 150 Concord Street, Framingham, MA to sign a Community Compact.

The Executive Branch and the Town of Framingham’s Community Compact is a commitment to the implementation of new “best practice initiatives” in the categories of Information Technology: Transparency and Education; Administration and Finance.

The Community Compact provides municipalities with incentives for state grant funds and technical assistance to refine and implement best practices in a Community’s chosen areas. The Town of Framingham’s information technology initiative is a two-tiered approach to create financial transparency:

  • Framingham has recently contracted with Socrata to begin implementing an Open Data Portal. The first stage of this project will be Open Budget, which provides an interactive experience that allows visitors to explore the operating and capital budgets of the Town of Framingham in detail. In addition to sharing the details associated with providing Town services, the use of the Open Data Portal may alleviate requests for information that is currently serviced by department staff. Future stages include publishing expenditure details, permitting information and more.
  • Framingham is also in the process of partnering with local municipal data developer Clear Government Solutions, (ClearGov), to provide financial and education data in an interactive and graphical format. By partnering with ClearGov, constituents will have the ability to benchmark financial and education data against other municipalities in a number of flexible and innovative formats. This is will be an informative tool for Framingham citizens to understand how their government spends their money and how our School system stacks up against other cities and towns.

This is one of the many steps that the Town of Framingham is taking towards the Town’s commitment to transparency in
government. The Town’s Education Administration and Finance initiative is to move toward the best practice of coordinated and collaborative financial management of School and Town finances. This includes enhanced information sharing and financial reporting for improved long range strategy and decision-making. The compact will provide technical assistance to study and recommend the best way to implement this initiative.

“The Baker/Polito Administration is committed to an ongoing improvement in the relationship between state and local government and how we each serve our residents and taxpayers. The types of best management practices encouraged in the Community Compact initiative are central to our mutual efforts to improve government services. I am proud of the compact we have entered into, which will improve financial transparency and open data availability for our residents,” said Bob Halpin, Town Manager.

“We look forward to working with the Community Compact Cabinet and taking advantage of the resources available through the Compact to implement valuable improvements in transparency of Framingham Town government,” said Mary Ellen Kelley, Town of Framingham, Chief Financial Officer.

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