Ensure Your Government Organization Is Prepared for the Future

prepare government future

When your local government wants to prepare for future needs and increase its resilience, you must implement the right strategies. Adopting new technology and methods can help your government branch better respond and react to challenges, regardless of what they entail. When you have the right resources, you can continue serving your community and meeting its needs.

As community needs and conditions constantly change and evolve, local governments must have the right resources and processes to respond to problems. Here are several tips on how to improve local government operations:

1. Prioritize Accessibility With Technology

Many constituents struggle with being unable to participate in and attend events regarding their local government. They might feel left out of decisions or that their government isn’t acting in their best interests. While many local governments have hearings and council meetings open to the public, their busy lives and other external factors might prevent them from being able to attend.

To increase accessibility for your community, you can adopt modern solutions — live streaming, video calling, and recording meetings and decisions are helpful options. If community members can’t attend events in person, they can observe from the comfort of their homes, allowing them to watch over kids, work, tend to their homes, or complete other essential tasks.

Recording live streams makes information more accessible to those who can’t watch live, ensuring they can still be part of processes. Further, video chatting over platforms like Zoom increases availability for individuals to meet with local government officials. They can adjust meetings around their schedules, allowing them to call from home, work, or other locations.

2. Open Budgeting Opportunities

In addition to new technology, you can open more opportunities for people to get involved. Local governments are powerful because they can directly impact constituents and the public works they depend on, including:

  • Public transportation
  • Road conditions
  • Libraries
  • Parks and public spaces

However, individuals have few chances to voice their opinions about how their councils and boards allocate public funds. In many existing systems, local governments debate and make decisions about annual budgets without public opinion but offer opportunities for people to make suggestions and contest decisions in later forums and hearings. While this option gives the public some voice, they can’t express how they would like to use funds.

If you want to give more power to the people, you can consider establishing a participatory budgeting system. Here, the community gathers during the beginning stages to help make suggestions, express concerns, and prioritize community interests with their local government funds.

For example, the community might need to repair dangerous roads with potholes. While individuals might be able to contest budgets with no funding for road repairs, communities can highlight the need and importance of this in the earlier stages of budget preparation with this system.

budgeting system

3. Include the Public in Policy Decisions

Involvement and accessibility can also apply to creating and implementing public policies and legislation. Like your budget, your local government’s policies will affect how individuals access and afford essentials like water, electricity, and public transit. Like budgeting, your constituents have little space in the policy you’re designing for them.

One strategy you can implement to improve your local government and prepare it for the future is to try inviting the public to help develop legislation. When they can take a more active and hands-on approach to local government operations, policies and legislation can better reflect their specific needs.

When you want to ensure your policies and legislation reflect the public need, you should encourage lawmakers and council members to conduct thorough research before making decisions. For example, ask them to reach out to local communities and do site visits, helping them better understand how your constituents and community members feel about changes and resource allocation.

4. Embrace Visibility and Transparency

While accessibility is essential for improving the resiliency of your local government, you can build trust and confidence in your constituents by increasing visibility and transparency. Many individuals get frustrated with their local governments because it’s hard to find essential information and resources, from office hours and contact information to tax forms and voter data.

In local government, increased visibility and transparency might take multiple forms, but it often includes using technology to create more accessible resources. Having readily available resources allows individuals to research topics themselves and stay well-informed about what their government does and how it impacts them.

You might consider creating social media pages to send quick updates and announcements to your entire community. This option opens two-way communication, allowing people to ask questions and raise concerns quickly. Developing your website can also help make your information more visible. Your site should be easy to navigate, so community members can find forms and contact information for policymakers.

Increasing visibility should focus on streamlining processes for your constituents. Payment and form submittal platforms can make fee and tax payments more efficient, making it easier for them to complete procedures.

Visibility and transparency can offer many benefits to local governments, including: 

  • Increasing constituent trust and confidence: Because some people are too busy to get involved, they need to believe their government is acting in their best interests. Higher transparency and visibility allow individuals to review and understand their government’s actions more quickly. Accessible and available resources show you are willing to work and communicate with your community.
  • Improving government efficiency: Increased visibility and transparency allow community members to discover the answers to problems and questions themselves. This reduces the volume of meetings and calls that council members have to handle, so they can refocus their energy on other essential operations. They can meet with people about information that isn’t available online and solve more complex problems.
  • Creating a paper trail of documents: When you can make online databases for your information and documents, constituents can access them as needed. From tax reports to meeting minutes, you can create comprehensive information databases where community members can educate themselves and learn more about government processes.

Developing your online resources can also increase your accessibility. When people can access documents and information from their homes, they can stay better informed and involved with proceedings.

Promote Visibility and Transparency With MIP Fund Accounting® Solutions

mip fund accounting

When you want to improve your local government, you need the right resources. At MIP Fund Accounting®, we offer premium accounting software solutions designed for governments.

Accounting software can help track your funds, helping you better allocate resources and make stronger decisions. With advanced reporting abilities, you can create comprehensive financial resources for your online databases.

Request a demo today and learn how MIP Fund Accounting® can support your local government’s growth.

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