Do You Give a “Dam”? You Should…
Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Every two years the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) works in collaboration with FEMA to inventory every dam in the United States. State and federal dam regulators collected data from May to November of 2018 for inclusion in the National Inventory of Dams (NID).
Now, you may be wondering why we expect you to give a dam about this?
National inventories may not be on your top priority of “need to know information”, however understanding how data can be collected and published online is a powerful tool for the efficacy of an organization that strives to serve as an informative and transparent platform for its constituents.
The more data that is easily found online fosters trust with constituents, it allows for open conversations and provides information to community members so they can make solid decisions about the issues that impact their everyday life. The NID is a prime example of how data sources, website content and social media work in conjunction with one another for government agencies – especially when considering the communities of the Commonwealth and how the updated Massachusetts Public Records Law may affect them.
To help ensure that government electronic records are created, maintained, disseminated and destroyed in a manner consistent with the transparency and accountability pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, (G. L. c. 66); the State has produced electronic records management guidelines that provide actionable recommendations:
...as of January 1, 2017, agency RAOs [Records Access Officers] will be required to provide on a searchable website electronic copies of commonly requested records, including: final opinions, annual reports, minutes of open meetings and agency budgets. Municipal RAOs will also be required to post commonly requested records on their municipal websites, to the extent feasible...
Posting information online should mean more to an agency than just tacitly meeting a requirement to comply with the law. To successfully carry out the function of government, an agency or municipality must reach out and engage its constituents. People are the lifeblood of their government, and a community should expect the difficult conversations about necessary maintenance, increasing budgets, and where the tax dollars are being spent to be easily accessible for them.
We give a “dam” about building trust through transparency, and we go the extra mile for our clients. We will work tirelessly to find the exact solution that works for your agency, municipality, or organization and tailor the features that you want to display with your data while staying in budget.
We also schedule lunch-and-learn sessions and are committed to training and empowering you to endorse the current best practices and trends in open data solutions, web accessibility, social media, and public records management.
Get in touch with us to learn more! Info@Capital-Strategic-Solutions.com