Clallam County buys system for public to keep up with finances

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has purchased software that will help the public keep track of county finances and other data.

Commissioners Mark Ozias and Bill Peach voted Tuesday — with Commissioner Randy Johnson excused — to approve a three-year contract with OpenGov for its Intelligence smart government open data financial performance system.

The software helps local governments consolidate complex financial and non-financial data into a simple platform to improve transparency and strategic planning, a OpenGov representative told commissioners at their March 13 work session.

“It is pretty exciting, and I think it’s going to make all of the county’s finances much easier for people to understand,” Ozias said before voting to approve the contract this week.

The OpenGov software will cost the county $10,925 per year with a one-time start-up fee of $2,700. It’s expected to be available sometime this summer.

County Administrator Jim Jones was directed last year to seek vendors that could help the county improve the way it disseminates financial data and other public information.

Jones recommended OpenGov, saying the software had an “impressive” search function that would allow a citizen or staff member to review transactions by date, vendor or amount of money.

Once staff has become proficient in OpenGov, commissioners may request a public demonstration of its capabilities.

“This is a tool for the public,” Peach said Tuesday.

OpenGov software already is being used by Clark and Thurston counties and the cities of Olympia and Redmond.

If the software works as well as advertised, commissioners may consider purchasing a budget-building module from the Silicon Valley-based technology firm.

In other board action Tuesday, commissioners renewed a three-year contract with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society to handle animals that are brought into the shelter by county citizens and Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Tracey Kellas.

The contract includes compensation for the sale of animal licences and maintenance of license records. It also covers the issuance of kennel and cattery licenses and cage and trap rental fees, according to an executive summary to the agreement.

The cost to the county will be $104,000 per year.

“It’s not an increase,” Jones said before the vote.

“That has been the amount of money that we’ve been paying for several years.”

Commissioner meetings and work session are streamed live and archived on the Clallam County website, www.clallam.net.

Click on “Board of Commissioners” and “Meeting Agendas &Minutes” to access the archives.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

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