Montgomery County’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) over the past year has been garnering national attention due to two information technology/budget initiatives, led by Scott Coble (OMB IT Lead), Blaise DeFazio (OMB Functional Lead; SU Grad – Consumer Studies 00′ and MPA 02′), Rekha Menon (OMB IT), Eliot Padison (OMB IT), and Victoria Lewis (County’s Department of Technology Services). In addition, the OMB staff includes three MPA graduates from the Maxwell School – Naeem Mia, Erika Lopez-Finn, and Elyse Greenwald that have participated in the following two initiatives.
The first initiative that has received national attention is their eBudget Knowledge Management System, a web-based, one-stop shop for any OMB staff to perform their daily duties. This includes training instructions/videos, leave requests, portal for departments to submit budget requests, resources for departments when submitting their budgets or other budget-related tasks, and links to budgeting systems used. This effort was done relatively cheap and in a short period of time; it has already spread to other departments in Montgomery County, thanks to the help of Scott Coble and Eliot Padison. The eBudget was so successful it received the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award; recognizing innovative county programs which provide “best practices” for counties across the nation.
Their Online Interactive Budget Book received national attention as well when Montgomery County became the first in the United States for showing, all three budget views at the same time: an interactive online budget book, a granular display of line item data, and a story book or comic book version of the budget that is easy to understand. With this initiative the office was selected to present at the Alliance for Innovation Transforming Local Government Conference in Phoenix this upcoming April.
Over the past year, the office has had the privilege of presenting at the following locations: National GFOA conference, Maryland Association of County Budget and Finance Officers (MACo) Budget/Finance Affiliate Meeting, Jiangsu Provincial Department of Finance in China, Montgomery County Council, the launch presentation at Microsoft’s DC headquarters, and the Montgomery County Agencies. In the upcoming year they will be presenting their interactive budget book at the City of Baltimore, Maryland GFOA Spring 2015 conference, and the National GFOA conference in May 2015