October 31, 2016Doug Hadden
Public Financial Management (PFM) plays a significant role in smart government. FreeBalance is developing numerous “vision cases” to describe the intersection of PFM and “smart”.
The planning and implementation of smart cities is enabled through PFM techniques and the use of open government. Cities cannot achieve “smart” without citizen engagement and a citizen-centric perspective.
Government fleets including automobiles, buses and public works vehicles, is a corruption opportunity in many countries. There was an interesting case study described in a Harvard Kennedy School executive course that I took back in 2013. A city was suffering from lack of public works because equipment was being used for private contracting. Smart technologies can enable smart cities to curb fleet corrupt practices.
- Fleet: fleet assets are included in an asset registry in the public financial system
- Assignment: responsible personnel are assigned in the asset registry (augmented by the human resources system, if integrated)
- Smart devices: GPS systems in fleet assets, augmented by sensors that monitor usage and camera equipment that shows physical condition provides maintenance, usage and activity information
- Analytics: analytics built on asset management systems identifies patterns
- Transparency Portal: patterns of fleet usage is presented to the public to support oversight and to show real usage in support of public goals
- Audit: rules within the asset management system, augmented by audit workflow identify patterns of waste and fraud
- Human Resources: investigations by audit organizations trigger disciplinary activities and identify better processes for managing fleets effectively
The integration of PFM, open government and digital devices provides the “smart” in Smart Government:
- Citizen-centric: engages citizens and civil society groups in oversight
- Data-driven: data from devices identifies patterns of usage and patterns of corruption
- Performance-focused: provides support for government audit that results in improved performance of fleet assets in pursuit of government goals
- Long-term: enables audit organizations to improve processes of forecasting fleet usage over time for continuous improvement
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