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A Sea of Change in Government Reporting

posted 28 Nov 2010, 04:27 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 28 Nov 2010, 04:28 ]

New reporting requirements are changing the face of business
reporting, and no sector has been as strongly affected in
the past few years as the biggest business of them all:
government. From local to state to federal agencies,
overhauled rules and regulations are necessitating a fresh
approach to reporting. Consider the following:

-  In California, the state controller's office issued new
requirements for elected officials and public employees in
more than 400 cities. These municipalities now have to
report salary ranges and benefits, showing a framework for
how public funds are being used. The act was in response to
the city of Bell's scandal, where eight officials have been
arrested for misappropriating funds.

-  At the first session of the University of Oregon Senate
this year, the hottest topic wasn't controversial classes,
grade inflation or university rankings. Instead, it was
reporting on athletics and financial expenditure. The senate
was attempting to comply with an earlier motion that stated
the university must establish a detailed, department-wide,
publicly accessible online database of financial expenditure
data.

-  Across the country, all states are required to report to
the federal government any licensed health care workers who
have been sanctioned. A huge gap was discovered, however,
when a ProPublica investigation uncovered hundreds of
unreported nurses and pharmacists. Twenty-one states and
Puerto Rico were not in compliance, and the U.S. Health
Resources and Services Administration is still trying to
sort out what reports are missing.

These are just a few examples of how new rules and
regulations are affecting business reporting in the very
sector that has created these laws. Three different
industries, in three different regions of the country,
facing new requirements. The common theme for all these
instances is to get to the point of showing transparency.

Government employees understand their responsibility to
demonstrate how the government functions, and they know that
reporting is an important part of that equation. There is
good news on the way even though the above-mentioned stories
demonstrate that we are far from comprehensive transparency.

Making the effort to guarantee reporting transparency, many
states are making the efforts to establish their own
resources. One model is in California, where the state has
created the "Reporting Transparency in Government Website."
Visitors to the site are greeted by a message from Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who says he recognizes the importance
of making data available to the state's citizens. The details
of thousands of government contracts, with everything from
salaries to pensions to travel expense claims, can be found
on this site.

Now the question becomes, how these agencies and departments
reach there goals to become transparent? With the right
government reporting software, of course. To help with
accountability, many government entities are using reporting
software to generate easy to access and read reports. And
that's good news for all of us, no matter what industry we
work in or where we live.


About the Author:

Finding good business reporting software is important.
Working for a small sports agency means that that many
clients provide unique challenges and seeking the right
reporting solutions was what mattered. For Scott Duglase,
that is all that mattered. Visit
http://www.windwardbusiness.com/ for all your reporting
needs.

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