Partnerships, Efficiency & Transparency in Government

How can the City expand digital offerings, increase communications capacity and reduce costs?

THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVES ARE MOVING THE CITY TOWARDS IMPROVING PARTNERSHIPS, EFFICIENCY, AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

  • Create West Hollywood Innovation Fund

    The City launched a $50,000 Innovation Fund to fund innovative ideas for delivery of city services. Innovation Fund grants are available to all staff, as well as Boards and Commissions.

  • Establish cohesive branding and visual representation of City offerings

    As part of the West Hollywood Communications and Community Engagement Strategic Plan, the City launched an official style guide.

  • Improve employee work processes through technology and collaboration

    Recognizing a need for technology and design, the City created the X-Team, an on-call pool of advisors and consultants available to help staff implement innovation projects.

  • Improve West Hollywood Open Data platform and data accessibility

    Information Technology, in partnership with Socrata, relaunched the Open Data portal, with additional data sets and visual tools. Departments continue to add data sets regularly.

  • Introduce WeHo Wi-Fi

    With a number of public Wi-Fi projects underway, including the Street Media Project, renovation of West Hollywood Park, and the opportunity to take over the street lights from Southern California Edison, the City is developing a Wi-Fi strategic plan to provide as much coverage in public spaces, as efficiently as possible.

  • Create Mapping and GIS Portal

    Information Technology launched an internal mapping platform using the City’s newly created Geographic Information System (GIS). A public facing portal is forthcoming.

  • Launch Neighborhood Services Tool

    Information Technology developed Curbside Services, an online tool for residents to find information regarding street cleaning, trash pickup, and parking restrictions.

  • Expand the Use of Electronic Forms

    The City worked with electronic form platforms to roll out annual Human Resource Benefits and FlexForms processes, as well as automate Information Technology requests. The City is exploring a widespread implementation of electronic forms based on the success of these two pilot projects.

  • Improve recruitment/ onboarding/ retention of new employees using technology

    • Human Resources launched TargetSolutions, an online training platform to carry out staff trainings, including sexual harassment and managerial trainings and to provide professional development.
    • Free Lynda.com training platform accounts are available to all staff through the LA County Library system.

  • Develop Robust Electronic Permitting Platform

    The City is expanding the use of TRAKiT, the City’s online permitting system. Moving beyond online Planning and Building & Safety permits, TRAKiT is now being developed to file encroachment permits, film permits, and special event permits. TRAKiT allows electronic collaboration between Code Compliance, Engineering, Parking, Public Safety, West Hollywood Sheriff, LA County Fire, Risk Management, and Building & Safety.

  • Develop online payment system

    The City is developing an online business tax certificate payment system, which will eventually expand to collect payments for the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Business Improvement District assessments, Transient Occupancy Taxes, and alarm payments.

PHOTO: KATE MANOS

CASE STUDY: INNOVATION ACADEMY

As part of the WeHoX program’s focus on developing a culture of civic innovation at City Hall, the City launched the WeHoX Innovation Academy for city staff. Civic innovation academies and civic innovation training programs are a way to create a more effective government through engaged, informed and proactive employees across diverse departments. In partnership with verynice, a global design-strategy consultancy, the City developed a training program for 16 staff members, with representatives from every Department in City Hall.

The goal of the Innovation Academy was to teach city employees about the principles of innovation, seeding a cross-departmental cohort of innovators. The objectives were to generate cross-departmental collaboration and ideas sharing, spread innovation principles throughout the organization, and solve municipal challenges by focusing on innovation research methods, strategic planning, design strategy, integrated design processes, systems design, and innovation leadership. The training was designed to provide a structural backbone behind the obscure processes of creative thinking, a topic not usually found in civic lexicons.

PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Brand City of West Hollywood as a unique government agency to ensure City values of innovation and creativity attract top talent who might otherwise not consider public service.
  • Launch public portals to give constituents seamless access to public documents and electronic campaign statements.
  • Continue to expand permits available on TRAKiT.
  • Explore options for automating the vendor contracting process, travel expense reporting tools, and a public records management system.