New transparency tool gives a leg up to Colorado lobbyists — and public (but it ain’t free)
Author: Dan Njegomir - July 5, 2017 - Updated: July 5, 2017
For those who track issues facing Colorado’s local governments — and there are many of both — it isn’t always easy to keep tabs on which city council or county commission is about to vote on some new policy or another. A new product, the Agenda Discovery tracking tool, could provide a solution. Yes, it’s for sale, but no, this isn’t one of those thinly veiled “advertorials.” It’s just that this product seems right up the alley of, well, sure lobbyists but also all the rest of us political addicts. We haven’t tried it yet but are intrigued.
The developers of the innovation are three Phoenix lobbyists and a software engineer who formed the Agenda Discovery partnership. They introduced the software in home state Arizona last year and now have arrived in Colorado. Here’s a press release announcing the product’s introduction in Denver this week:
The Agenda Discovery online tracking tool allows users to scan municipal government agendas for keywords. When a keyword appears on an agenda, the system notifies the user with an email and a copy of the agenda. It is the only known business in the United States that provides local government agenda scanning software services.
Much simpler, no? More detail:
Currently, anyone tracking local issues must log-on to the local government’s website, navigate to the agendas section, open what may be multiple agendas and look for an issue or several issues that may or may not be on an agenda. This time-consuming process is then repeated for each local government where the issue is being tracked. Agenda Discovery automates this process.
The Agenda Discovery tool scans the agendas of multiple local governments each day for issues of interest. The tool then sends an email alert when the issue is listed on an agenda.
It’s not free and not exactly cheap, either. According to a profile of the product in the Phoenix Business Journal last year:
The Agenda Discovery software is available now for $200 to $800 a month, depending on the number of users.