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Why is government so slow? Expectation vs. reality

why is government so slow, government, accountingWhy is government so slow? Have you ever been asked this question by those your government entity serves? Maybe someone has asked this via email or commented on your social media account. Thanks to how connected we are, governments and their constituents are able to interact more than ever. The digital age also allows us instant gratification. Make payments or have packages delivered to your door at the click of a button – thank you, Amazon and PayPal.

Based on these expectations, you can see why many would assume that the government can act fast too – passing laws within six months or changing inappropriate funding within the same year. As you know, these expectations are unrealistic. The reality is that government moves slowly, but for good reason. Establishing a budget, obtaining funds and executing the daily activities each government agency requires is no small task. You’re working with a greater amount of funding for a greater amount of people, which means you must make small changes over time to ensure that they’re effective.

So, how can your entity help bridge the gap from – why is government so slow? – to working with those you serve toward a better understanding of these processes?

  • Most people may not be aware that government project plans are usually published online. Since cities and counties must get public approval for major development plans, more often than not your constituents can be involved in the five or ten-year plans of your city. Make sure you’re communicating this via social media, mailings, etc.
  • You probably provide financial statements and common communication agendas online for public knowledge. Make sure they’re easy to find and properly announced.
  • Bond funded projects are usually posted at the site of construction. How else can we notify the public of where their tax dollars are being spent? The public wants to see what the government is doing for them. Social media, radio ads and communication outside of the casual mailer reach people the best.

Effective communication between your government agency and the public will break down the false expectations that the government moves too slow.

Noemi Barter