The City of Reno Nevada (population 220,000) has created an Open Government Team, which on their web site is described below as:

Open Government Team

We are currently forming an internal Open Government Team led by our Web Services Manager. Team members will come from all departments and all levels, with the intention of supporting our external transparency efforts.

Here are some of the goals of this team:

  • Identify and implement opportunities to share data and information
  • Develop policies and procedures related to transparency
  • Oversee use of web, social media, and print communications in transparency
  • Provide related content for internal blog
  • Support the City Clerk’s Office in open records planning and public records requests
  • Support Neighborhood Services in media relations
  • Advise web and intranet development teams

In addition to the Open Government Team Reno has an online checkbook where anyone can check what each department is spending and what vendors are receiving payment. Reno is even soliciting ideas on how to be more transparent by placing the following on their web site:

Help Us Improve

Listing our datasets is just a start. Please help us improve by letting us know what type of data you’d like to see and how we as a government can be more transparent. Please send your suggestions and ideas toOpenReno@reno.gov.

It is amazing how many committees and boards local governments have for every topic imaginable, yet very few have devoted resources to something like an Open Government Team. A lot of elected officials talk about transparency but few take the step of pushing the bureaucracy to become more open and transparent. Bringing staff from all departments together to create an Open Government Team is a great idea. What do you think?

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