||Many governments struggle to communicate the business of government to residents, particularly when presenting information about how taxpayers' money is allocated and spent. Traditionally, financial information has been presented in forms only fully understood by trained accountants — reams of information, which, though vital, have little meaning for the average person.
AGA's Citizen-Centric Reporting (CCR) initiative is intended to foster innovative means of communication between governments and their citizenry. AGA believes government financial information should be provided to citizens in ways that are clear and understandable, updated regularly and often, broadly delivered, easy to locate, honest and accurate. As the owners of government, citizens have a right to this information.
CCRs detail government finances in a visually appealing, clear and understandable four-page document that includes community information such as population figures, regional characteristics and government goals for the community; a performance report on key missions and service; detailed cost and revenue information; and a look at the year ahead. Whereas AGA previously provided templates for creating a CCR, we now provide guidelines. These guidelines are designed to let you know what information should be included in your CCR, without [us] being prescriptive. Don’t be afraid to get creative; and feel free to browse completed CCRs for inspiration. This past year we broke some of our prior rules… we hope you like the results!
AGA believes these reports will make governments more transparent to their citizens, and will help Americans become better educated and better able to participate in government activities.
We encourage you to take the initiative to work with your government employer or with the city, town or state where you live and persuade them to produce a similar report. AGA is ready and waiting to help with free consulting advice and other tools to help you accomplish this goal.
You could earn a Certificate of Excellence for a great CCR.
AGA invites undergraduate students to compete in the annual virtual Government Finance Case Challenge, during which student teams collaboratively analyze data for a specified U.S. state, city or county government and develop a CCR.
In the news: a feature in Route Fifty: Citizen-Centric Reporting: Informing the Public Is the Government’s Responsibility