Helping the State of Georgia Improve Transparency
April 06, 2014 by Jennifer Cobb
By December 31st of 2013, the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission had to solve a thorny problem. The Commission is responsible for making public all of the financial disclosures and campaign contribution forms for both elected officials and individuals running for public office. The Commission fulfills this important public mission by both collecting the filed reports and making them available online in a searchable database.
Several years ago the Commission built an eFiling system that enabled candidates and elected officials to submit their filings on line, in a format that made the information searchable. In 2013, the Legislature passed HB143 which, once in effect, requires local candidates and elected officials to file their reports with their local filing entity and not the Commission. The local filing entities are then required to transmit these reports to the Commission. The Legislature mandated e-filing or e-fax as the method for these reports to be transmitted. The Commission chose to use e-faxing as it appeared to be the easiest and most cost effective method to implement.
This new system had to be in place by the end of 2013. And there was no budget to implement it.
Joel Perkins, CEO of Inserv360, and Andrew Booth, CEO of Jaxified LLC, the primary consultants who manage IT infrastructure and code for the Commission, explained. “We had to figure out a way to set up an eFaxing system to handle the volume of incoming forms. We were also looking for a way to have this information available to the public and get the information into our existing eFiling system, so we would have one, unified, state-wide dataset. And we had no additional budget funding to execute this project.”
Check out our Resource page to see how Captricity has helped the State of Georgia and others digitize their data.