The City of New Bedford has launched an online ‘dashboard,’ NBCompass, which tracks and reports annual data on the workload and efficiency of City departments, adding another transparency feature to City government.
For the past several years, the City has been committed to a transparent process that ensures the highest level of trust in its decisions and methods. NBCompass measures New Bedford’s ongoing efforts to modernize City services, strengthen New Bedford’s economy, and improve public safety. It is the City’s goal to improve the performance of city government by providing efficient services that meet the needs of the community, produce results, and keep New Bedford in a state of forward motion.
Currently, the dashboard measures three major categories: Permits and Licensing, Economic Indicators, and Roadways and Public Spaces – allowing residents to view the number of various licenses pulled, trends in employment and growth, roadways repaired, and more. More metrics will continue to be added that are relevant to residents and visitors, and NBCompass lays the foundation for future data reporting. Annual year-end performance management reports are also available through NBCompass.
The dashboard is available on the City website’s homepage, or at https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/nbcompass/.
NBCompass builds on the City’s efforts to be transparent around finances and management issues. In January 2016, the City launched its Open Checkbook platform, which provides greater transparency of its financial data.
New Bedford’s finance team has also achieved notable landmarks this year. The City was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award (2018), for the third consecutive year, for its current budget by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Only 26 Massachusetts municipalities and districts, and 1,576 entities nationwide, received the award in 2017. Additionally, Standard & Poor’s Rating Service (S&P) reaffirmed New Bedford’s AA- bond rating, and the City has maintained the highest bond rating it has achieved in at least the last forty years. The AA- rating was first awarded to New Bedford in January 2014, and the reaffirmation of the rating puts New Bedford again among the top half of all issuers of municipal debt in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.