Thursday, July 15, 2021

Austin Awarded for Government Transparency

City Wins Gold Certification from Bloomberg Philanthropies' What Works Cities 
The City of Austin is being recognized by Bloomberg Philanthropies for its work to become one of the most transparent governments in the country. Austin has achieved Gold Certification from What Works Cities. Since 2018, only 40 cities have achieved Certification. The criteria focuses on the people, processes, and policies that are fundamental to a data-driven city, including data governance, evaluations, general management, open data, performance and analytics, repurposing, results-driven contracting, and stakeholder engagement. Not only did the City of Austin meet this criteria, it scored 100% in the Open Data category.

City Manager Spencer Cronk commented, "I am incredibly proud of our accomplishments as a data-driven organization. City leadership and our amazing workforce are devoted to serving the community in the most effective and efficient manner. Making the City's data available allows us to work closely with various community organizations and make data-driven decisions that improve services and programs our community rely on."

The City of Austin's open data history began in 2011. Since then, the entire organization has remained committed to open data supporting an open and transparent government. The City regularly collaborates with community organizations to utilize data in innovative ways through data exchanges, university-based partnerships, and open data meet-ups.
"During the pandemic, using data to inform decision-making was more important than ever for cities – it helped them respond directly to the needs of their residents and deliver essential services as the situation on the ground constantly changed," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the 108th mayor of New York City. "By putting data at the center of their COVID-19 response efforts, these cities saved lives and helped residents recover – and they now have a chance to come out of this crisis stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the next one."

The program has inspired a movement of cities that are doubling down on their commitment to building the most well-managed local governments possible. More than 200 cities have completed a certification assessment to have their practices benchmarked against the national standard.

"I am so proud of the City of Austin's drive to share data and remain transparent with the community in all matters, but especially when comes to how we address the challenges we face together as a community," said Mayor Steve Adler. "Having this very open data-driven approach to how we approach challenges is one of the things that helps make Austin such a desirable place to live."

By achieving certification, the City of Austin gains access to a wide range of resources and partnerships to further develop data-driven practices which translates to more effective services and programs for our residents.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit or follow on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and TikTok.