In baseball, “moneyball” is the practice of using statistical data to predict the overall success of a team. “Moneyball for Government,” an association of local governments across the country, uses the same idea—hard, measurable numbers—to prioritize funding projects. To that end, Mayor Ben McAdams wants to create a way for citizens and local officials to keep up with county projects.
“One of our first Moneyball goals is to implement—in partnership with the Council—a ‘Dashboard’ to display real time information on the work that we do,” says McAdams.
The County Dashboard would be an online tool that would allow people to track the progress of all current Salt Lake County projects—how much money has been spent on a particular project, its current status, and how close it is to completion. McAdams hopes this scrutiny will optimize the way government money is spent.
“Our ultimate goal is to invest our limited taxpayer dollars in practices, policies, and programs that use data and evidence to show what works,” says McAdams. “We can then direct funds away from programs that fail to achieve measurable outcomes, and essentially do more good with less wasted time and money.”
The County Dashboard is still under development. McAdams’ 1.1 billion dollar budget plan also includes a recreation program for autistic children, and 40 million dollars for deferred maintenance projects. The Salt Lake County Council has yet to consider the Mayor’s plan. They will approve a final budget in December.