In the U.K. there's something called the Audit Commission. It's an independent government agency that grades the effectiveness of various public...
In the U.K. there's something called the Audit Commission. It's an independent government agency that grades the effectiveness of various public services-police departments and transit authorities and so on-in cities all over England. Now, for the first time, the Audit Commission has launched a website, called Oneplace, that collects all that data and presents it for citizens. It's sort of like a super well-researched, comprehensive version of Yelp for local public services.Here, for example, are the Oneplace grades for the London Development Agency, which is responsible for economic development in the city:
And they also look at indicators that relate to the problems public agencies should be solving. Here's the dashboard that shows London's sustainability indicators:
They also give cities "green flags" for the areas they're doing really well in and "red flags" for the areas where they're really falling short.The Oneplace site could do a better job of making area-by-area comparisons easy, but overall this is a great idea. Imagine how useful it would be to quickly see which neighborhoods are squandering tax dollars, which have failing police departments, and which agencies are going above and beyond the call of duty.Providing this kind of transparency would go a long way toward helping people understand how their tax dollars are being used and hold government to account. The trouble is, I'm not sure if there's anything comparable to the Audit Commission in the states.