ClearGov Demystifies Finances of Massachusetts School Districts

by Chris Bullock

ClearGov School District AnalyticsClearGov today launched a comprehensive analytics solution for school districts. The new ClearGov Insights™ for Schools platform enables school districts to better communicate with their constituents through easy-to-understand, interactive infographics on student demographics, staffing headcount and salaries, student test performance, district financials and much more. The platform also empowers district administration with back-office tools to quickly compare district performance against similar districts to identify opportunities for efficiency and make more informed and data-driven budgetary and policy decisions.

“Building public support is critical in today’s society.  There is so much data on schools available to the public that it is overwhelming for the average parent and taxpayer.  Telling our district’s story in a clear and compelling manner can help proactively address the public’s increased appetite for information and get everyone on the same page,” said Michael Welch, Superintendent of Dedham Public Schools.   In addition to Dedham Public Schools, twenty school districts across Massachusetts, including Easton Public Schools, Framingham Public Schools, and Wayland Public schools are now leveraging the ClearGov for Schools platform for increased transparency.

Utilizing publicly available data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), ClearGov has created easy-to-understand transparency websites for over 300 school districts across Massachusetts, which are available to the public for free today.  Taxpayers can not only compare expenditures for districts year-to-year, but also have the ability to break the budget down into specific categories of spending to see exactly how their tax dollars have been used.

School Districts can choose to upgrade and enhance their publicly available transparency site with additional dashboards, including:

Detailed Funding & Expenditure Analyses: Allow visitors to “drill down” into funding and expenditure subcategory details.

Student Body Analysis: Offers insights into changing student demographics, including enrollment trends, high needs students, student diversity, and more.

Employee Analysis: Informs visitors on trends in staffing with a particular emphasis on educators.

Test Performance Analysis: Communicates complex test scores in an easy-to-understand format with powerful benchmarking metrics.

State Aid Analysis:  Provides a comprehensive view of state funding sources, including Chapter 70, Circuit Breaker and more.

“Education spending can comprise a large portion of municipal expenditures and there are many factors that drive school district budgeting. ClearGov for Schools helps school districts better communicate not only financial and test performance, but also the ever-changing dynamics they must consider when budgeting,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.

In addition to providing the public access to easy-to-understand financials, the platform also provides a set of benchmarking analytical tools to assist district and school administration and school committees in making more informed policy and budgetary decisions.

“Data analysis and benchmarking have become a critical, yet arduous component of our budgeting and planning process. ClearGov for Schools delivers time-saving analyses and powerful insights for our administration,” said Dr. Andrew Keough, Superintendent of Easton Public Schools.

ClearGov Insights™ for Schools is currently available in Massachusetts and will become available in additional states in the near future.

ClearGov Raises $1.2 Million Seed Round to Help Drive Government Transparency and Efficiency

by Chris Bullock

Making Democracy Work Better.Hopkinton, MA (3/29/17) – ClearGov, a leading provider of local government transparency and benchmarking solutions, announced today that is has raised a $1.2 million seed round to fund its rapid expansion.  Local governments use ClearGov’s enterprise SaaS solution to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions, and improve communication with citizens.  The seed round was led by Kepha Partners and included MassVentures, as well as a host of angel investors.

“ClearGov’s team has a proven entrepreneurial track record and the company’s traction with local governments in Massachusetts speaks for itself,” said Eric Hjerpe, partner at Kepha Partners.  “The company’s solution is incredibly topical as governments are increasingly battling misinformation, making the need to improve transparency and build public trust ever more important.”

Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Chris Bullock and Bryan Burdick, the company has transformed complex, public data sets from state and national entities into a network of easy-to-understand financial profiles on over 20,000 local governments across 20 states.   Each town profile includes an infographic-style breakdown of revenues, expenditures and debt, which are compared to statistically similar towns to provide taxpayers with context to every figure.

“ClearGov has created an invaluable tool not only for citizens, but also for government officials to access and, more importantly, utilize public spending, taxation and budgeting information,” said Jennifer Jordan, vice president at MassVentures.

The company’s premium InsightsTM service allows local governments, such as Brookline, MA and Decatur, GA, to enhance their basic ClearGov profiles with more granular financials and commentary on fiscal trends.  Local governments then promote their ClearGov site as a “transparency center” to the public via their town website, social media and town meetings to help drive trust through transparency.

ClearGov InsightsTM also includes web-based software that enables government leaders to identify potential areas for improved efficiencies by comparing their finances against similar communities via the company’s extensive database of over $1.8 trillion of government expenditures.  A local government could, for example, analyze the cost efficiency of its snow and ice removal program by comparing expenditures to neighboring towns with similar road miles.

“This investment is an important step in our vision to make democracy work better.  ClearGov is much more than financial transparency; we are providing insights to taxpayers and officials that can help improve the effectiveness of their local government” said Chris Bullock, CEO and founder of ClearGov.  “Ultimately, we believe our platform has the potential to positively impact millions of people through a more informed and efficient democracy.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government network visit http://www.cleargov.com.

 

Village of Rye Brook Launches First ClearGov Transparency Site in New York State

by Chris Bullock

Village of Rye Brook, NY

The Village of Rye Brook announced today that it has partnered with ClearGov to launch the state’s first infographic-based fiscal transparency center. The new tool provides taxpayers an easy-to-understand, visual breakdown the Village of Rye Brook’s budget and financial history from 2011-2017, including insights into the village’s demographics. The site also informs visitors on how each budget item compares to neighboring municipalities for the period 2011-2014.

The Village of Rye Brook is the first municipality in New York to leverage the new ClearGov platform, which also showcases basic profiles of every municipality in the state. The Village has added detailed revenues and expenditures breakdowns of its General Fund, as well as the Capital Projects Fund.

“In todays society the public interest in seeking information online has increased dramatically. The Village wanted to get ahead of the curve by not only making our budget more accessible, but also to present it in a way that makes it easier for residents to get information about the Village’s finances,” said Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg. “It was also important for the village to provide context to this information by sharing how our finances stack up to other similar villages, towns and cities in the area,” he continued.

Rye Brook Village Administrator Chris Bradbury adds “Rye Brook is pleased to be at the forefront of a growing number of municipalities that are seeking to build public trust in local governments by increasing transparency and using data analytics in a way that supports budgetary and policy decisions.”

ClearGov sources publicly available financial data on municipalities to create easy-to-understand transparency websites for over 20,000 municipalities across the United States, which are made available to the public for free.  Municipalities can choose to upgrade and enhance their publicly available transparency site with more robust information and provide context through commentary on the figures.

“We are excited to partner with the Village of Rye Brook to bring enhanced transparency to New York,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “Residents should be proud of the leadership position Rye Brook has taken with this project and technology.”

ClearGov Expands Government Fiscal Insights Platform with Open Checkbook

by Chris Bullock

Partners with Town of Brookline to Share Check-level Expenditure Detail

Wayland, MA (January 18, 2017)  – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today that it has partnered with the Town of Brookline, MA, to introduce new functionality to its platform which empowers local governments to share check-level expenditure detail with residents. The new tool enables taxpayers and internal stakeholders to explore expenditures by specific transaction and see every check the town has issued to vendors.

“Our goal continues to be better transparency in government operations and improved access to how tax dollars are being spent” said Mel Kleckner, Town Adminstrator of the Town of Brookline.  He continued, “We’ve partnered with ClearGov to create a site that not only clearly illustrates how the town allocates funding, but also raises the bar on the level of financial detail available to the public from our prior system.”

ClearGov sources publicly available financial and performance data on municipalities to create easy-to-understand transparency websites for thousands of municipalities across the United States, which are made available to the public for free.  Municipalities can choose to upgrade and enhance their publicly available transparency site with more robust information and provide context through commentary on the figures.  Open Checkbook by ClearGov is now an optional module that enables visitors to drill down to the check-level detail on expenditures and identify all payments to individual vendors.

Brookline is at the forefront of a growing movement of towns in Massachusetts that have partnered with ClearGov to transform complex financial statements into clear and actionable fiscal insights.  The platform not only provides the public with access to easy-to-understand financials, but also delivers a centralized source of financial data and benchmarking analytics to municipal officials to help them make more informed policy and budgetary decisions.

“We are incredibly excited to support Brookline’s forward-thinking transparency efforts,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “Open Checkbook by ClearGov is a natural extension of our fiscal clarity and insights platform, which allows residents and internal stakeholders to better understand how tax dollars are being put to work.”

Visit Brookline’s ClearGov site:

http://www.cleargov.com/massachusetts/norfolk/town/brookline/2016

 

Press Contact:  

Chris Bullock

508-308-0440

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov helps local governments communicate and operate more effectively and efficiently through a unique fiscal clarity and insights platform.  Local governments leverage ClearGov to more clearly communicate their financial performance in an effort to build citizen support and participation through transparency. ClearGov also provides valuable municipal benchmarking intelligence to help government leaders quickly compare their finances against similar communities in an effort to make more informed and data-driven policy and budgetary decisions.

ClearGov Recognized as a Top Leader in GovTech Industry

by Chris Bullock

We are excited to announce that ClearGov has been recognized by GovTech magazine as one of the most innovative and influential companies focused on serving governments.  The GovTech 100 list highlights “a foundational group of companies (that) embodied the essence of the space and a good starting place to understand a market lacking in the attention it deserves.”

“We are humbled to be even associated with so many successful and innovative companies,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “GovTech companies not only represent a fast-growing market segment, but they are building solutions that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how our tax dollars are put to use and, as such, improve the lives of millions of people.”

In it’s preface to the GovTech100 of 2017 list, GovTech highlights 2017 as a year of increased venture capital investment and solid exits that lend credence to the “forward momentum” of the gov tech marketplace.  Specifically the article highlights the “movement to open up government data” that will lead to tremendous value being unlocked by companies offering innovative approaches data analysis.

Click here to see the full list of GovTech 100 companies.

ClearGov Announces Tech Industry Veteran Bryan Burdick Joins as President & Co-Founder

by Chris Bullock


Burdick’s Sales and Operations Leadership Enables ClearGov to Further Scale and Grow

Wayland, MA (January 3, 2017)  – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today that Bryan Burdick has joined the founding team and will serve as the company’s President reporting to Chris Bullock, ClearGov CEO and Chairman.  Burdick will oversee all aspects of revenue, financial and administrative operations of the company.  As a co-founder Burdick’s entrepreneurial experience will help guide ClearGov’s strategic direction and fuel rapid growth.

“Bryan is a proven leader that brings tremendous experience in scaling SaaS businesses to ClearGov at a time when we are positioned to rapidly expand our team and client base,” said Chris Bullock, CEO.  “I am confident that his leadership will help vault ClearGov to a new level and be a key asset in the evolution of our company in the years ahead.”

Burdick brings to ClearGov over 25 years experience in the technology sector, including business-to-business, big data, digital media and software-as-a-service.  Most recently, he co-founded Bizo, a leading B2B audience targeting platform, which scaled to $50M in revenues and was successfully acquired in August 2014 by LinkedIn, where Burdick has spent the last 2+ years as Global Head of B2B. Bizo was spun out of ZoomInfo, Inc. – a leading business intelligence provider, where Burdick served as President. Prior to ZoomInfo, Burdick held senior executive roles at Monster Worldwide, Lycos, Inc., Go2Net, Inc. (acquired by InfoSpace) and Reality Online, Inc. (acquired by Reuters).

“I have been thoroughly impressed with what Chris and the ClearGov team have accomplished,” said Bryan Burdick, ClearGov President. “They have built an elegant solution to deliver the information and insights that local governments need to drive efficiencies. And feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive as demand for government transparency is at an all-time high. I am thrilled to be joining the ClearGov team, and I am confident that we are well poised to help make democracy work better.”

About ClearGov

ClearGov’s mission is to delivery clarity and unique fiscal insights that help governments operate more efficiently and effectively. ClearGov transforms municipal financial statements, key metrics and other relevant data into easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use. Local governments leverage ClearGov to clearly communicate their financial performance in order to better collaborate with constituents and communities. ClearGov also provides a proprietary municipal benchmarking platform that empowers government leaders to make more informed and data-driven policy and budgetary decisions and enables the sharing of best practices between municipalities.

ClearGov Expands to Provide Government Transparency for Over Half of US Population

by Chris Bullock

Municipal Financial Sites for 18,000+ Local Governments Across 20 States Now Available

Wayland, MA (December 12, 2016)  – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today that its InsightsTM municipal database now covers over 60% of the US population.  Through its unique interactive infographic approach ClearGov is proactively bringing enhanced transparency to 18,870 municipalities across 20 states serving an aggregate population of 200+ million people.  With this announcement the ClearGov platform now boasts the world’s largest public collection of local government financial profiles.

“ClearGov is on a mission to revolutionize government transparency,” said CEO and Founder Chris Bullock. “Unlike any other organization, we proactively provide enhanced transparency to the public using open data sourced from local, state and national resources.   We take great care to provide this information in a user-friendly format so all taxpayers, whether they have financial expertise or not, can find the information about how their tax dollars are being spent and get a better picture of how their local government operates and makes decisions.”

ClearGov transforms complex financial municipal data into easy-to-understand infographics.  Through ClearGov’s proprietary benchmarking algorithm the site automatically compares the revenues and expenditures of local governments to their statistical peer communities to provide context for visitors.  Local governments can upgrade their ClearGov page to enhance their financial profile with more current and granular detail and to unlock enhanced data modules to help better tell their financial story.  Over 50 communities have leveraged the ClearGov platform to better communicate their financial story and gather insights into their municipal budget in comparison to peer communities.

The ClearGov InsightsTM database also enables local government officials to easily create custom benchmarking analyses.  These comparisons against similar communities empower these officials to make more informed and data-driven budgetary and policy decisions.

“Governments are often criticized for putting out complicated financial information which is hard to understand and lacks comparative context,” added Audrey Hall, VP of Business Development.  “Local governments can leverage ClearGov’s platform to put those numbers in the context of the bigger picture to help drive public trust and support.  These municipalities are not just providing transparency, they are providing clarity, which is a powerful shift in intention.”

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments leverage ClearGov to more clearly communicate their financial performance in an effort to build citizen trust and participation through transparency.   ClearGov also provides valuable municipal benchmarking intelligence to help government leaders make more informed and data-driven policy and budgetary decisions while opening the door wider to sharing best practices between municipalities.

 

ClearGov Partners with City of Decatur to Launch Georgia Transparency Initiative

by Chris Bullock

 

Boston, MA (August 29, 2016)  – ClearGov announced today that it has partnered with the City of Decatur to launch a first of its kind fiscal transparency website in Georgia.  The new site will enable taxpayers to clearly see how Decatur is funded and how this funding is allocated to provide services to its residents.

In conjunction with the launch of Decatur’s transparency website, ClearGov announced today the addition all municipalities in the State of Georgia, including 535 cities and towns, to its platform.

“Having an engaged community has always been important to Decatur as we believe an informed community is an engaged partner with government,” said Peggy Merriss, City Manager of Decatur.  “Providing open access to financial information is critical to building and keeping the public trust, encourages accountability, and improves the understanding of how tax money is spent within the City,” she continued.

ClearGov sources publicly available financial data on municipalities to create easy-to-understand transparency websites for thousands of municipalities across the United States, which are made available to the public for free.  Municipalities can choose to upgrade and enhance their publicly available transparency site with more robust information and provide context through commentary on the figures.

Decatur is the first municipality in Georgia to upgrade its ClearGov page to offer more timely and detailed information to its residents.  The platform is not only designed to provide the public access to historical financials and forward-looking budgets, but also provide a centralized source of financial data and benchmarking analytics to city officials to make more informed policy and budgetary decisions.

“We are excited to partner with the City of Decatur to support their efforts towards increasing transparency and, most importantly, fostering a deeper understanding of how their government works” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “We hope that other communities in Georgia recognize this new bar that Decatur has set and join Decatur in ClearGov’s growing community of forward-thinking municipalities.”

To visit Decatur’s ClearGov page visit:

http://www.cleargov.com/georgia/dekalb/city/decatur/2015

 

About Decatur, GA

Decatur is a city in, and county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, and has a population of approximately 21,000 people. Founded in 1822, the city has a traditional small-town atmosphere–and the sophistication and excitement of a college town–along with all the benefits of living in a major metropolitan area.  The city is minutes east of downtown Atlanta, minutes west of Stone Mountain, and is easily accessible via the MARTA rail station.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments leverage ClearGov to more clearly communicate their financial performance in an effort to build citizen trust and participation through transparency. ClearGov also provides valuable municipal benchmarking intelligence to help government leaders make more informed and data-driven policy and budgetary decisions while opening the door wider to sharing best practices between municipalities.

ClearGov Launches Colorado Municipal Transparency Initiative

by Chris Bullock

Pueblo West to Showcase ClearGov’s Enhanced Transparency Solutions

Hopkinton, MA (July 18, 2016)  – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today that is has launched fiscal transparency sites for 353 municipalities in the State of Colorado, including 73 cities, 196 towns and 84 metropolitan districts.  The new tool will enable taxpayers to clearly see how their city, town or district is funded and how this funding is allocated to provide services to residents.  The tool also provides visitors additional context to the revenues and expenditures by benchmarking statistically similar communities.

ClearGov sources publicly available financial data on municipalities to create easy-to-understand transparency websites for thousands of municipalities across the United States, which are made available to the public for free.  Municipalities can choose to enhance their publicly available transparency site with more robust information by upgrading to the ClearGov Plus+ service.  Pueblo West Metropolitan district is the first municipality in Colorado to upgrade its ClearGov page to offer more timely and detailed information to its residents.

“We believe government at all levels has a responsibility to be open and transparent,” said Darrin Tangeman, District Manager.  “ClearGov helps us promote transparency in a way that the average citizen can understand,” he continued.  Pueblo West will integrate ClearGov into a newly revised website to be launched on July 25th.

In addition to transparency tools, ClearGov equips municipalities with back-office benchmarking software to help government officials make more informed and data-driven budgetary and policy decisions.

“Coloradans are known for their innovative government, so we are excited to find a forward-thinking partner in Pueblo West to introduce the ClearGov platform to Colorado,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “It is our hope that increased transparency will help drive citizen trust and engagement across Colorado by providing easier access to the inner workings of government.”

 

To explore Colorado municipalities on ClearGov visit:

http://www.cleargov.com/colorado

 

To visit Pueblo West’s ClearGov page visit:

http://www.cleargov.com/colorado/pueblo/metropolitan-district/pueblo-west/2015