2017 Semifinalist
Colorado Channel Authority, CO
January 1, 2017

The Open Media Project for Government (OMP), a groundbreaking suite of government transparency tools, enables government transparency and civic engagement by providing affordable or free live-streaming and searchable video archiving for all government meetings. With proven results in Colorado via the Colorado Channel Authority (CCA), this open-source Software-as-a-Service is poised to scale nationwide, bringing a new level of government accessibility to the people. OMP was designed to leverage emerging, low-cost, and innovative tools (like YouTube’s free live-streaming and transcription services and Archive.org’s advanced archival features) to expand public engagement and reduce costs. Implemented for the 2013 legislative session, the Colorado Channel saw an over 50-percent decrease in cost and a 140-percent increase in total site visitors. After three successful years, OMP service has spread to several municipal government agencies across the state, as well as to the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Program staff is confident that the software is ready for nationwide adoption to help state and local governments expand transparency and accessibility, even on the most limited budgets. With each new client, this open-source solution becomes more advanced and adaptive to a wide range of environments. Expansion has presented new obstacles. Many government entities have never offered the level of transparency that OMP provides Colorado citizens; beyond that, each entity has differing technological and staff capabilities. To address this, the CCA helped develop affiliations with organizations like Colorado’s Statewide Internet Portal Authority, which provides technology solutions to hundreds of government entities, and the Texas Association of School Boards, supporting hundreds of school districts implementing video transparency solutions under new state laws. Toward the end of 2016, OMP was picked up by its first client outside of Colorado - Lane County, Oregon. The project now provides over a dozen government clients cost savings of up to 90 percent when compared with previous commercial service providers.