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The City of Newport announced today in the following press release that it has partnered with OpenGov, the leader in government performance solutions, to improve transparency and increase access to important public information through the OpenGov platform.

The OpenGov Smart Government PlatformTM will allow Newport residents to use a Google-style search bar to track government spending and also make it easier for public officials to share complex financial and performance data in simple, understandable reports. The new software will enable more transparent governance and informed decision-making.

“We continually get feedback from our residents and taxpayers asking for better communication from the City administration, “ said Laura L. Sitrin, Newport’s Director of Finance and Support Services. “OpenGov is a terrific tool that will allow the City of Newport to provide detailed transactional and financial information to taxpayers in an easily understood format.  People will be able to access information that is important to them. We are starting with financial information but there is the capacity to provide all kinds of data driven information. The City of Newport OpenGov site will be launched as part of our FY2018-19 Biennial Budget process in May and we are really excited to be able to use it at that time.”

The platform includes OpenGov Budget BuilderTM, a collaborative, cloud-based budgeting application that will streamline the budgeting process for Newport officials and eliminate the need for complicated and antiquated Excel spreadsheets as they plan the city’s $138 million budget. Access to this information empowers internal stakeholders to conduct better analysis. Other governments already using Budget Builder in the budgeting process have reported cutting their clerical work in half. Newport’s new platform is expected to go live next month.

“It’s our mission to power more effective and accountable governments, and we’re excited to partner with Newport to harness the power of technology to increase government transparency,” said OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman. “Whether it’s a $2 purchase of office supplies or a $2 million spend on infrastructure improvements, public officials will be able to easily report and track financial information and citizens can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

Newport’s new OpenGov platform will provide clear and interactive data visualizations, making it easier to analyze historical trends and compare spending across vendors, departments and with other governments. Officials will also be able to share this complex financial and performance data in simple, understandable reports with key stakeholders, helping to build consensus around priorities and progress within the community. In addition, residents will have the ability to download the data, and share it via email and social media.

Newport joins a growing number of governments nationwide who rely on OpenGov’s next generation cloud software. The City of Boston recently launched its updated transparency platform, “Analyze Boston” powered by the OpenGov Smart Government Platform, and both the California National Resource Association and the City of Phoenix announced their own transparency efforts to powered by OpenGov.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.