Rapid City's Unique Approach to Open Data

"Educating the public about the budgeting matters is essential for the best outcomes. This ensures that citizens have the best information to weigh in and get engaged in the decision-making process. The Open PBB Data website is a big development in how we convey information about the priorities of the City and the budget process and get feedback from Rapid Citians". - Sean Kurbanov, Rapid City Budget Analyst

ResourceX recognizes Rapid City, SD as now the third city to launch the Open PBB Data Citizen Portal. However, they are the first to launch our newly updated platform Open PBB Data 2.0.

Rapid City is committed to sharing city data with the public to increase transparency, accountability and customer service, and empower citizens with the ability to harness a vast array of useful information to improve life in the city. Rapid City Open PBB Data is specifically designed to transparently share all the city's priority based budgeting data with citizens.

Through this Open PBB Data set, the community will now have the opportunity to:

  • Translates the city’s line-item budget into a program budget

  • Reveals the prioritization of every program in the city budget

  • Show exactly how much it costs the city to deliver every program (service)

  • Demonstrate exactly how much city staff support is required to deliver every program (service)

  • Exhibit the relevance of each program (service) in relation to community results

  • Show if a program is mandated (by Federal, State or local government) to be delivered

  • Demo if the city is a sole provider of a program or if others (public or private entity) are delivering similar programs

  • Present the level of reliance on the city citizens have for program delivery

  • Reveal program level revenue and if fee-based programs pay for themselves

  • Demonstrate the level in which every single city program impacts community results

Open PBB Data is the premier open data site in the nation. Never before have cities had the ability to share such comprehensive program level data with their citizens. With Rapid City Open PBB Data citizens will be able to:

  • Obtain a thorough understanding of all the programs the city delivers, what it costs to deliver programs, and understand whether the programs contribute to community results

  • Understand exactly what programs are funded through tax dollars

  • Evaluate and analyze how city programs impact community results

  • Communicate with the city to evolve the prioritization of programs

  • Rapid City business owners and other public entities will have an opportunity to evaluate all the city programs to determine where partnership opportunities exist

Watch the PBB Open Data video overview here!

Priority Based Budgeting in Rapid City, SD

In FY2017, the City of Rapid City began its full implementation of the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) process, which is recognized as a best practice by leading government administration associations such as ICMA and GFOA. Unlike the traditional incremental approach to government budgeting, where the current year’s budget becomes the basis for the next year’s spending plan, the innovative PBB process allows communities to understand their core values and then budget according to these values.

Not only does the PBB framework allow our City to make better short-term resource allocation decisions based on the relative priority of the programs and services it offers, but PBB also provides a new way to link budget decisions to the strategic results and outcomes that our City wishes to achieve for the long-term.

"It's all about shifting the focus from things that governments buy to things that governments provide and making sure we are prioritizing and allocating resources to the programs that are a high priority," said City Budget Analyst Sean Kurbanov.

Use this link to watch video interview of Sean Kurbanov discussing PBB in Rapid City.

According to the Rapid City PBB Summary Report, The traditional approach to budgeting has always been incremental, with last year’s budget serving as the basis for the budget of the following year. This has typically been done in concert with a zero-based approach,where accounts for certain line items essentially start with zero and every planned purchase is detailed.Unfortunately, these budgeting methods do not adequately address priorities, and do not directly link to strategic goals or performance measurement. As part of the solution to this dilemma, our organization has partnered with ResourceX toward establishing a framework and providing a “new lens” through which the organization can clearly see where opportunities exist - therefore making more effective use of finite resources and continuing to serve in the most effective, efficient and fiscally responsible manner possible.

The Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) model provides a comprehensive review of the entire organization’s operating budget, identifying and ranking services (programs) offered on the basis of the community’s priorities. The diagnostic process enables policy makers to link funding decisions to priorities in the strategic plan. The PBB philosophy involves “Results”, which are the fundamental reason an organization exists,and what the organization is in business to provide. Result definitions detail and expand on the factors influencing the results our organization aims to achieve - and for which all services/programs would then be gauged by and ranked on.

Congratulations to Team Rapid City for your excellent application of PBB Data and leadership in openly and transparently sharing Open PBB Data with citizens and the community!

Related Articles

Community Values & Citizen Preferences through Priority Based Budgeting in Rapid City, SD

Rapid City, SD Priority Based Budgeting page on City Website

The Ultimate Guide to the Priority Based Budgeting Community Index

To find out more about priority based budgeting and open PBB data, check out the PBB Bootcamp & Summit this August in Denver, Colorado.

Register here!

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