Lahanas Says New Budgeting Software will Increase Transparency

Monday, April 8, 2019, 9:24 am
By: 
Jessy Gregg

A contract has been authorized that will bring “Priority Based Budgeting” (PBB) to East Lansing, changing the way that the City allocates its resources.

Colorado-based company Resource Exploration (ResourceX) offers software which scores community services based on “results mandate level, cost recovery, the population served, demand and degree of reliance,” according to a news release. City Manager George Lahanas said the move will bring increased transparency to the budgeting process.

The four-year contract will cost $60,000 for the first year and $35,000 per year thereafter. In exchange, ResourceX will provide training and support in the use of its software, which includes a “community facing dashboard” that allows viewers to see how City revenue is being spent. An example of a "community facing dashboard" may be seen here, on the website of Rapid City, South Dakota.

“This new transparent approach to the budgeting process will help us align our resources with the priorities of our community, while determining the true cost of our services and identifying gray areas where efficiencies can be made and new revenue generated,” Lahanas stated.

Kalamazoo is also using ResourseX’s PBB system.

“A review of the PBB program inventory resulted in a reduction of programs from 1,088 to 514,” according to the Priority Based Budget section of the City of Kalamazoo’s website. Those reductions were “primarily due to the removal of redundant programs and combining programs across departments that were previously tracked separately.”

More information about how Kalamazoo implemented this system can be found here.

Implementation of the new system will take three to six months, according to the news release. Lahanas’ memo to Council recommending the adoption of the PBB system acknowledged that transitioning to the PBB system “requires a significant change in culture and budgeting philosophy, as well as leadership commitment to utilizing the process.”

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