QR code in Iowa City to offer greater transparency to residents

QR code - Iowa City

QR code - Iowa City

City Hall meeting rooms will now provide the barcodes to help in efforts for going paperless.

A sizeable QR code is now displayed at the entry of the City Hall meeting rooms in Iowa City, as a part of an ongoing effort by the city to keep pace with technology and go paperless.

Community members who scan the barcode will receive instant access to the meeting agendas.

This is among the transparency improvement efforts that are being made by the city, along with the attempt to be as paperless as possible.

According to the city manager for Iowa City, Geoff Fruin, “The QR codes enable instant access to the meeting information for the folks attending the meeting.” He added that “This is just an effort to make sure people who are attending the meeting have access to all the meeting materials before the meeting starts.”

Though the use of the QR code was not based on strategies from another city, Fruin explained that his city isn’t the first to use this technology in order to help to improve communications and reduce the use of paper.

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Fruin said that “Certainly the smart phone applications are nothing new.”

He also added that as the city council had recently changed their meeting agendas to a paperless format, as well as the information about the meetings themselves. This provided them with the opportunity to take a new look at the way that the public has access to this type of information and how it is presented to them.

The QR code announcement closely follows one last month, when iPads started being used by City Council.

This was another technique that had been implemented in order to keep the use of paper at meetings down to a bare minimum. This new agenda service is updated automatically through the Content Management System of the city and involves no cost to the city. It is initiated through City Staff postings.

Other cities within the state are using Iowa City as an example of how a QR code can be used for this purpose, and are now considering their own similar efforts.

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