The CEA recently completed a pilot program modeled after the City of Baltimore’s award-winning CitiStat division. Throughout the course of the 3 month pilot program, the CEA, in cooperation with the Office of the Mayor and four key city departments, developed COMSTAR, an innovative system of departmental oversight utilizing data reporting, tracking, analysis and frequent feedback with department heads.
As a result of the success of the pilot program, Mayor Reichert expanded to other key departments. The program is on schedule to becoming fully implemented by December of 2009. The CEA manages and serves as the Analytical Arm of COMSTAR, applying their expertise in resource management, economics and statistics to a variety of departmental concerns and problems.
The goal of COMSTAR is simple: To ensure effective, efficient, transparent and quality city services for the people of Macon. By meeting regularly with department heads and tracking/analyzing volumes of performance data, the CEA and the Mayor's office are continually developing innovative solutions to assist the departments in meeting their goals.
Specifically, COMSTAR will:
- Receive timely departmental data for immediate analysis including; monthly budget numbers, key performance metrics, updates on the status and completion of goals, and other relevant city data.
- Provide expert analysis of the data prior to each COMSTAR meeting for review by key staff in the Mayor's office.
- Hold monthly meetings (in some cases twice monthly) with members of the Mayor's staff, CEA data analysts, the department head, and representatives from various support divisions (Finance, Legal, HR, etc.). During the meetings, the Mayors office will be able to verify information from previous meetings and set goals and objectives for the following month.
- Post the results of the program on the city web page for review by the citizens of Macon
Ultimately, COMSTAR aims to make government work for the citizens of Macon through enhanced communication, accountability, transparency and efficiency. Citizens can monitor the progress and results of COMSTAR by clicking on the specific department of interest under the COMSTAR menu link above. Each department will be updated monthly or more frequently as needed.
"This new program offers an exciting opportunity for Macon to further develop a culture of accountability. With timely, accurate data, city leadership can better understand and analyze service demands and departmental performance in addressing those demands."