Charm City steps up digital initiatives
Baltimore aims to improve delivery of core city services and bring the city in line with established best practices in civic technology.
Baltimore is investing $3.2 million into two new programs to modernize and improve government operations, Mayor Brandon M. Scott said in an announcement.
The programs – Baltimore Digital and the City Performance Team – funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, will bring innovation and best practices to using data, design and technology, city officials said.
Baltimore Digital, a digital service team, will receive $2.1 million to develop more accessible and equitable digital tools for residents accessing city services online. The team of technology experts will rely on user experience design techniques and project management methods to make sure online services and tools are meeting their users’ needs. Chief Data Officer Justin Elszasz will be the director of the digital service team.
"This is ultimately about creating pathways to improve the delivery of core city services and bringing the City in line with established best practices in civic technology,” Elszasz said.
The other $1.1 million will fund a City Performance Team in the mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation. The team will “streamline measures collected for existing processes such as the budget book, CitiStat, and the Mayor's Action Plan,” city officials said. “This will also allow the City to strengthen agency performance, ensuring that these metrics are meaningful and accurate ways to track the effectiveness of City service delivery.”
To support performance management, all city agencies will determine metrics and targets for their services in their annual performance plans at the start of the budget year and report on these metrics and targets at least twice a year, the announcement said.
"Since taking office, one of my main goals has been to ensure our City government is operating in the most up-to-date fashion and at optimal efficiency,” Scott said. “This investment will help enhance our performance and, ultimately, allow us to move ever closer towards the state-of-the-art government that our residents deserve."