Report on Open Government Presented to Council

CITY OF PITT MEADOWS
NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2015 #2015-06
For further information, call
Mayor John Becker 604.465.2410
jbecker@pittmeadows.bc.ca
www.pittmeadows.bc.ca

REPORT ON OPEN GOVERNMENT PRESENTED TO COUNCIL
23 Recommendations Promote Transparent and Responsive Government

Pitt Meadows, BC – Thanks to the work done by dedicated Pitt Meadows residents, the City of Pitt Meadows now has 23 recommendations to guide its steps towards more open government, including proactive, transparent and responsive communication and engagement in the community. The Pitt Meadows Citizens’ Committee on Open Government Report was presented to Council at the Council Meeting on July 21, 2015.

“This comprehensive report provides Council with a much better understanding of what our citizens would like to see from us, and outlines some clear goals and steps to achieving our vision of a more open government,” says Mayor John Becker. “My thanks go to the Committee members for their dedication to this project, as I know it involved many hours of work and a commitment to the discussion and these positive outcomes that we can work with as a Council.”

The Citizens’ Committee on Open Government involved 24 members, made up of Pitt Meadows residents and other stakeholders in the community. The Committee held six meetings over three months and coordinated two surveys in the community to gain input from residents. The Committee’s interests, concerns and priorities were consistent with those shared by the broader community, which assisted with identifying needs areas and developing goals and recommendations to support open government.

The report to Council included an overview of the purpose and process followed by the Committee, as well as the development of proposed principles for open government, and suggested goals and recommendations aligned with each goal to provide practical steps to achieve a more open and responsive government.

Values expressed by the Committee include the importance of engagement, which is more than simple information sharing; the need for engagement to happen early in any process, project, or policy development; and the need for Council and staff to be responsive, proactive and transparent in disclosing what is coming up, what is being contemplated and what is being discussed for Pitt Meadows. The four identified goals are:

  •  Council and staff are open, friendly and responsive to the community.
  •  Council and City information is shared with the community proactively and openly.
  •  The community is meaningfully engaged early and consistently.
  •  Policies and procedures support open government and are applied consistently.

The Committee was open to all residents and individuals who are stakeholders in the community, and there was no limit set on the number of participants to ensure broad representation. The Committee was chaired by Therese Mickelson, Mickelson Consulting Inc., who facilitated the sessions and compiled the report based on the Committee’s approved recommendations.

A copy of the Citizens’ Committee on Open Government Report is available on the City’s website, including an Appendix with results from the community surveys, the Committee’s gap analysis results and the approved minutes for the meetings.