The City of Lowell's LowellSTAT program was created in 2010 to make city government more efficient, accountable, and transparent. Through the regular review of data and frequent accountability checks, the City Administration can not only make better decisions, but also ensure that departments are being held accountable and that positive changes in city operations continue to move forward.
LowellSTAT has a number of roles in the administration of city government, including:
- Designing and recommending new ways of collecting data and performance indicators
- Analyzing data to identify successes, concerns, and opportunities for increased efficiency and service delivery
- Formulating and making recommendations in the operation of city departments
- Facilitating LowellSTAT meetings
- Monitoring any policy changes, recommendations, and administrative directives that are made
- Assisting department heads in achieving their goals.
LowellSTAT meetings are currently held on Tuesday mornings twice each month and monitor the following departments: Department of Public Works, Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries, Water Utility, Wastewater Utility, Development Services, Parking, Solid Waste and Recycling, Police, and Fire. Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. At that time department heads meet with a regular LowellSTAT review panel that includes: the City Manager, LowellSTAT Analysts, Chief Financial Officer, City Solicitor, City Auditor, Assistant to the City Manager, and Human Relations director.
LowellSTAT has focused primarily on the implementation and standardization of data collection systems in monitored departments. The LowellSTAT program has also identified and has been an important component in implementing major changes to City operations including the City's decision to contract Cemetery maintenance, requiring health inspectors to enforce City trash ordinances, the Municipal Hearing Officer program, and the identification and collection of previously unpaid fines.
LowellSTAT's analysts have also been an integral part of several significant initiatives, most notably the shift towards a performance-based budget and the creation of the City's first Strategic Goals and Objectives plan.
In the future, the LowellSTAT program will continue to focus on data collection systems, the development of performance metrics, and monitoring departments on a regular basis. But additional focus will be put towards making information available to the public, with the goal being that increased transparency will lead to more confidence in city government.