Mayor Michael Nutter debuted his final proposed city budget today along with a first-of-its-kind data visualization that he described in his address as an effort to “increase transparency and understanding of the city’s budget.” His proposals must be approved by City Council.
Here are other tech-related highlights from his address, according to a city release and the city’s five-year-plan.
- “$3.6 million for the Police Department to expand the use of body cameras work by officers and to support mandatory training and equipment including 1,300 new bulletproof vests.” (That’s $500,000 for the body cameras and $3.1 million for the training and equipment, Philly Mag reported.)
- $2.5 million for extending the city’s underground concourse to connect to the second Comcast tower. (That’s $2.5 million for FY 2016 out of a total $10 million over three years for the project.)
- “$29.4 million for the Office of Innovation and Technology allocated as follows: $23.9 million for citywide
technology improvements which is part of a $120 million multiyear commitment to improve the City’s technology; and $5.5 million to complete a message switch system which will improve public safety information exchange between the City and State.” Those “citywide technology improvements” include a $7 million “data warehouse” that will help the city collect taxes. Nutter announced this one in 2013 as part of an ambitious strategy to crack down on tax collection.
- “$22 million for the purchase of all new voting machines and technology.”
- As per Philly Mag: “The overview document that was presented to City Council noted that the city ‘is implementing a new budgeting system which will replace the more than 2,000 Excel spreadsheets that the city currently uses for its budget.'” This is a project that’s been in the works since 2013. Here’s how Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid described it to us back then, via email: “The City will enter into a contract agreement to fully automate the budget planning process, allow for application of different budgeting methodologies (e.g., program based, performance, activity, etc), and streamline the budget formulation and publishing processes.” It’s expected to launch this summer, the five-year-plan said. We’ll have more on this soon.