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Panorama’s work is focused on empowering leaders to implement integrated technology solutions that deliver effective service to their citizens – a concept Panorama has termed “ROC” or “return on citizenship.”

In today’s society, citizens expect the same level of service and responsiveness from corporate and government agencies alike, so there is much more pressure for government institutions to react quickly and change for the better so they can efficiently provide the services tax payers are paying for.

With that said, return on citizenship (ROC) can best be described as a measurement of success similar to return on investment or (ROI) but in the private sector. When all is said and done, citizens pay income taxes, FICA, sales taxes and all sorts of local taxes that go to support all public services so the return on this money is the benefits it provides citizens.

The amount and quality of services that are received in exchange for tax dollars can be referred to as a citizen’s ROC. Citizens have come to expect the same high levels of service and responsiveness from the government that they do from private entities. When citizens do not feel that their ROC is high enough, they may elect new officials, pass referendums and, in some extreme cases, leave their tax district for another. This shift in power has put the onus on government institutions not only to be more proactive than reactive but to create effective dialogue with constituents and increase responsiveness.

The recent glitch with the federal government’s Obamacare exchange website is a perfect example of misalignment between contractor-government-citizen. The glitch has hindered millions of citizens from determining an accurate price for their healthcare because the federal software that determines whether customers are eligible for federal subsidies under Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act still isn’t functioning properly. Millions are receiving error messages and the site still has glitches. Worse yet, taxpayers overpaid for the site.

The cost to build Healthcare.gov, according to U.S. Government records, appears to have been $634M, which we paid to CGI Federal. The company originally won the contract back in 2011 but at that time, the cost was expected to run “up to” $93.7 million.

Just to provide some context, Facebook, with over a billion users, spent $600 million in website expenses for a four-year period and similarly, Twitter, with over 215 million active users, operated its website for $360.17 million over a five-year period. So why can’t the government operate as efficiently as the private sector?

Accountability is a key factor in being able to serve citizens and, due to the nature of government, the pursuit of profits is not what holds governments accountable but rather the service to the citizens. Any contractor, individual or vendor providing services to the government must share in the principle in order to be congruent with the overall success of lining up tax payer dollars with key government initiatives.

For the public sector to achieve its goal of providing a high ROC, it must do two things well: continually transform itself to improve services while reducing costs and continually engage with its constituents in a real and meaningful way. An ERP implementation is an opportunity to accomplish both of these goals. But transformation comes at a price. And engagement creates accountability.

Panorama Government Solutions has developed teams of independent government consulting experts who pride themselves with partnering with foreign and domestic governments to catalyze societal change and improve the quality of life of people throughout the world. In addition to delivering improvements to the environment and infrastructure, the firm’s consulting engagements support economic and social reform, wealth creation, good governance and the rule of law.

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