In 2018 the City-Parish accelerated technological innovations that improved services for residents and increased efficiency across government departments. By adopting an “open by default” policy in 2017, the City-Parish’s transparency efforts have greatly expanded over the past year. These advancements have earned several accolades, including the 2018 Government Experience Award by the Center for Digital Government; the IDC Smart Cities North America Award for its mapping application used by the Baton Rouge Police Department; and ranking as a Top 10 Digital City in the U.S. for the fourth year in a row.
- New website: In February the city-parish launched brla.gov, which replaced the 20-year-old brgov.com. The new site upgraded navigation and design with a mobile-friendly platform, enhanced search functions, and enabled users to receive notifications for myriad events.
- Transparency: In December, the City-Parish launched Open Checkbook BR, which details how tax money is spent by all departments – down to individual transactions. Open Checkbook is supported by the Open Data BR Portal, which was expanded in 2018 to include several new datasets, such as Road Closures, Street Name Changes and Annual Contracts. In addition, several datasets were expanded, including BRPD Crime Incidents and Road Closures, and Purchase Orders and Contracts has been updated.
- Streamlined Financial Platforms: The Information Services department worked with Human Resources and the Finance and Purchasing departments to consolidate the functions of several decades-old systems into the Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP). Those who wish to do business with the City-Parish can register in the ERP’s Vendor Self Service system; job seekers can apply for available positions.
- GIS Innovations: The Geographic Information Systems program maintains and expands location-based data, interactive maps, and applications that power everything from emergency responses to tracking historical changes in East Baton Rouge. In 2018, GIS created new apps like the 311 Dashboard and expanded data in web maps for the Sustainable Transportation Action Committee, Stormwater Management and My Government Services.
In 2019, the Information Services department will continue refining the 311 Citizen Request system to shorten response times, advance the “open data” policy by adding more datasets and apps to the data portals, and implement a Unified Communications platform that will reduce government telephone expenses, among other projects. The City-Parish strives to continue enhancing operational efficiencies in line with its 2019-2021 Information Services Strategic Plan.