The City Controller in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is basically the city’s fiscal watchdog. The elected official’s job is to look for fraud and waste in city government and issue reports and recommendations to address problems. Of course, the easiest way to do that is to get good tips from the citizens of Philadelphia who probably see problems long before they’re brought to the Controller’s attention.
So Philadelphia City controller Alan Butkovitz has introduced an app called Philly Watchdog that lets anyone submit examples of “fraud, waste & abuse” from an iPhone. See a city worker doing something that just doesn’t seem right? Snap a picture and send it off to the controller’s office. Think there’s a more efficient way to get through the lines at City Hall? Send Butkovitz a video.
The app lets you send anonymous reports or fill in your name. You can also geotag reports.
I have no idea if this sort of app is common in other cities, but the Controller’s office says it’s the first of its kind in the US. And since I happen to live in Philadelphia and this came to my attention recently I figured I’d pass it along. It’s not the prettiest iPhone app I’ve ever seen, but it certainly looks like something that could fit a very specific need.