The Sunlight Foundation created this living set of open data guidelines to address: what data should be public, how to make data public, and how to implement policy. The provisions are not ranked in order of priority and do not address every question one should consider when preparing a policy, but are a guide to answer the question of what an open data policy can and should do in striving to create a government data ecosystem where open data is the default. Setting the default to open means that the government and parties acting on its behalf will make public information available proactively and that they’ll put that information within reach of the public (online), without barriers for its reuse and consumption. Setting the default to open is about living up to the potential of our information, about looking at comprehensive information management and making determinations that fall in the public interest.
Most government information disclosure laws and systems currently in place, including right-to-know, freedom of information and public records laws, are vehicles for reactive disclosure. Reactive disclosure means that a question has to be asked before an answer is given and that public information must be requested before it is disclosed. Proactive disclosure is the opposite. Proactive disclosure is the release of public information before an individual requests it. In the 21st century that means proactively putting new information online, where people are looking for it.
Open data laws provide an opportunity not just to update and improve access to information that is already open and/or public but also to specify that new data sets and records be collected and published. Similarly, policies should be specific about what “new” data can mean: in some instances, this provision can be used to require that that new data be created, collected and released for the first time.
Open By Default. All public data sets must be considered open unless they contain information designated as sensitive, private, or confidential as defined by the Citywide Data Classification Policy or information that is exempt pursuant to the Public Officers Law, or any other provision of a federal or state law, rule or regulation or local law. The Agency submitting the data set is required to review its status and maintain currency with public disclosure requirements.http://cityofnewyork.github.io/opendatatsm/citypolicies.html
Open data policies should be informed by existing provisions ensuring access to government information. Strong open data policies build upon the principles embodied by existing laws and policies that defend and establish public access, often defining standards for information quality, disclosure and publishing. Examples of accountability policies include open meetings acts, open records acts, ethics standards, campaign finance regulation and lobbying disclosure laws, to name a few. Building on precedent from these policies and others can help strengthen new open data requirements and inform where policy updates or revisions are necessary that an open data policy can address.
Building on existing accountability and access policies can also help define the term "data" as it is used in an open data policy. Data, as it's defined in open data policies, can be seen as the next iteration of public records. Existing laws defining the scope of public records could be used as the touchstone for defining data to be released proactively online. Public records exemptions, however, should not be used to limit the scope of the definition of data. Open data policies that define data using the definition of public records should be able to adapt to changing definitions of public records. For that purpose, definition by reference would be stronger than definition by the copying of language, which would force updates in more than one place.
Another benefit of using existing access policies as a foundation for open data is that it can help ensure legal rights to information. Policies that already outline standards for access to information often create a legal right to that information, and this could be used to ensure the legal right to open data by extension.
Public Data or Information means any data or information generated or received by the City of South Bend (the City) as defined by the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA) at Ind. Code 5-14-3-2(n) which is fully disclosable under APRA or which the City has no discretion to refrain from disclosing under APRA at Ind. Code 5-14-3-4(b).http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/sites/default/files/files/Mayor_2013-Open%20Portal%20Exec%20Order.pdf
An open data policy can be pursued with the intent of realizing many different varieties of public good, including greater government transparency, honesty, accountability, efficiency, civic engagement and economic growth. An explicit statement of goals, values or intention can help clarify the outcomes that a government hopes an open data policy will help achieve. A statement of mission highlights both the general importance of open data and the specific importance of releasing information for that government’s particular political context. In addition, the process of developing this statement may serve the democratic goal of increasing public participation by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to explore the value of open data from their own perspectives.
For an open data policy to have a strong foundation, you first need to know what data you have—and so does the public. Governments should conduct an inventory of existing data early in the process of open data policy development in order for the government and other stakeholders to be aware of the full potential dimensions of data release. While defining total information holdings may be a complex undertaking, governments should conduct as comprehensive a review of existing data information as possible, with the inclusion of information holdings that may benefit from becoming structured data themselves.
The inventory should itself be made public. Publicly accounting for agency information helps ensure that information is managed to benefit the public interest, allows for common understanding of what data the government holds, and can create efficiencies among government departments. It empowers policymakers and administrators to determine whether information is being appropriately managed, and empowers the public oversight of those determinations. An individual or group should be charged with oversight of the inventory to ensure its ongoing maintenance and accuracy. To make the listing of data as useful as possible, such a list should also encompass data that may be viewed as sensitive or unlikely to be released (along with any other helpful context.) In addition to setting the stage for meaningful public discussions around dataset release, an inventory process can provide a roadmap for creating ambitious timelines (see Provision 27) and identify whether new data may need to be collected.
Create and Maintain an Enterprise Data Inventory. Purpose: To develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of what data assets they possess, Federal Agencies are required to create an Enterprise Data Inventory (Inventory) that accounts for all data assets created or collected by the agency. This includes, but is not limited to, data assets used in the agency’s information systems. The Inventory must be enterprise-wide, accounting for data assets across programs and bureaus, and must use the required common core metadata available on Project Open Data. After creating the Inventory, agencies should continually improve the usefulness of the Inventory by expanding, enriching, and opening the Inventory (concepts described in the framework below)...http://project-open-data.github.io/implementation-guide/
While open data policies ideally enable the online release of all public government information, the release of data may end up being a staggered process for practical reasons, such as insufficient funding or staffing. Governments should be clear about the range of potential methods that could be used in determining the priority-order of data release.
A variety of goals, actors and events can contribute to the determination of data set prioritization. Because of the traditional relevance of ethics concerns to open government policy, data which provides oversight of high-frequency areas for governmental ethics concerns serves the specific goal of achieving accountable government. Publishing data which is used in the process of creating public laws or rules, data related to specific legislative or executive policy initiatives, or data which is created incidental to a new policy or regulation serves the goals of civic engagement and transparency. The goal of satisfying public demand can be achieved both through a review of the existing volume of requests for government data and through a new solicitation of public comment. (Although direct public participation is important, it should not serve as the sole method of data set prioritization, because this mode of participation can inadvertently serve to reinforce the specific preferences of people who are already comfortable engaging the government.) Finally, given practical concerns, the cost of releasing individual data sets is likely to be used as an aspect of determining priority for release. While cost may be a factor in determining the priority of data release, it should be balanced against other prioritization methods in order to produce a truly useful collection of public data.
Executive Order 95 states: Prioritization of publication of data [is] based on the extent to which the data can be used to increase the covered State entity’s accountability and responsiveness, improve public knowledge of the entity and its operations, further the mission of the entity, create economic opportunity, or respond to a need or demand identified after public consultation…
When creating a schedule for publication of a particular dataset, agencies must make an assessment based upon a number of different factors. Agencies may use the guidance below to determine the priority for each data set. Prioritizing initial and ongoing publication will entail balancing high value with data quality, data availability, and data readiness. Each covered State entity shall create schedules and prioritize data publication in accordance with guidelines set forth herein, and in a timely manner, recognizing that it may take time for agencies to prepare high quality data (noting that datasets vary in complexity and, as such, can significantly vary in preparation time)...http://nys-its.github.io/open-data-handbook/guidelines.html?1394511383118
Information that is gathered from the public using public funds should remain publicly-accessible, regardless of government decisions to delegate its management. The government often uses third party entities or contractors to handle, research or generate government information. Nonetheless, government decisions to employ outside contractors should not result in the public losing access to its own information. The scope of public information should be defined to include information managed by vendors of government services. Similarly, open data policy provisions should explicitly apply to quasi-governmental agencies and other similar actors, such as multi-state agencies, government-sponsored entities and publicly-funded universities. Where information is collected from or on behalf of the public using the government’s legislative, regulatory or spending power, the public should retain presumptive access to that information.
To ensure that the public retains access to its data, provisions should added whenever possible to the existing procurement, contracting or planning processes requiring government contractors release government relevant information openly.
A well-crafted open data policy is complementary to pre-existing legislation and directives about access to public information (see Provision 2 for more details), which means that it can integrate pre-existing public access law exemptions for information that is sensitive for privacy, security or other reasons. In addition, the nature of online access for bulk information can produce its own privacy, security and liability concerns. Individual-level data requires special scrutiny if it refers to private individuals who are not serving as government vendors. However, information that may provoke concern if released at the individual-level can often be released in aggregate and thereby provide some degree of public information and value. Any exemptions must be carefully crafted to exclude only the most necessary categories of information. Valid privacy and security concerns should be addressed through provisions that recognize the public interest in determining whether information will be disclosed or not. For example, rather than saying “information relating to X topic is exempt from disclosure,” provisions should require that “information relating to X topic is exempt from disclosure if the potential for harm outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” Public interest here does not mean public attention, but instead refers to interests like democratic accountability, justice and effective oversight.
Any exemptions to data release should be crafted in a way that does not cut out access to information for researchers. Information that might be too sensitive for release to the public online can often be used by academic or nonprofit researchers who have agreed to protect sensitive information and not release it, except in aggregate form or in other ways that limit the potential for harm. This kind of release, with the research and insights it empowers, would benefit the interests of accountability, justice and oversight. Balance testing should still be used to ensure privileged information-sharing is not given priority over full public release when the public interest outweighs the potential for harm.
The County’s Open Data Committee will be responsible for...developing standards to determine which data sets are appropriate for public disclosure, by balancing the benefits of Open Data with the need to protect disclosure of information that is confidential, proprietary, or protected by law.https://data.smcgov.org/Government/San-Mateo-County-Open-Data-Policy/pebe-j2ye
For maximal access, data must be released in formats that lend themselves to easy and efficient reuse via technology. (See the Open Data Handbook, The Power of Information, 8 Open Government Data Principles, the 10 Open Government Data Principles and Open Government Data). This means releasing information in open formats (or “open standards”), in machine-readable formats, that are structured (or machine-processable) appropriately. Plainly, “open formats” refer to a rolling set of “open standards,” often defined by standards organizations, that store information in a way that can be accessed by proprietary or non-proprietary software means. These formats exist across an array of data types; a common example cited is CSV in lieu of XLS for spreadsheets (the former being accessible via a wider variety of software mechanisms than the latter). "Machine-readability" simply refers to a format that a computer can understand. One step beyond machine-readable data is structured data (or machine-processable data), a format intended to ease machine searching and sorting processes. While formats such as HTML and PDF are easily opened for most computer users, these formats are difficult to convert the information to new uses. Providing data in structured formats, such as JSON and XML, add significant ease to access and allow more advanced analysis, especially with large amounts of information.
The council hereby finds and declares that it is in the best interest of New York City that its agencies and departments make their data available online using open standards. Making city data available online using open standards will make the operation of city government more transparent effective and accountable to the public. It will streamline intra-governmental and inter-governmental communication and interoperability permit the public to assist in identifying efficient solutions for government promote innovative strategies for social progress and create economic opportunities.
‘Open standard’ means a technical standard developed and maintained by a voluntary consensus standards body that is available to the public without royalty or fee.http://cityofnewyork.github.io/opendatatsm/LocalLaw11of2012.html
In addition to releasing information in formats that allow for the maximal amount of technical reuse, appropriate methods of distribution should be considered, to maximize the degree of access, use and quality of published information. For example, if a government report is most effectively distributed via a PDF format, but contains data elements that would be most digestible via a structured format, both the report and accompanying structured dataset should be released with relative referential metadata (see Provision 13). Similarly, options for bulk download should also recognize the strength of allowing for access to information in various formats. This degree of access and interaction allows citizens and government alike to get the most out of the data.
Technical requirements with the goal of making data sets available to the greatest number of users and for the greatest number of applications including whenever practicable the use of machine readable non-proprietary technical standards for web publishing.http://www.slideshare.net/Bytemarks/bill-53-fd1
Such public data sets shall be made available without any registration requirement, license requirement or restrictions on their use provided that the department may require a third party providing to the public any public data set, or application utilizing such data set, to explicitly identify the source and version of the public data set, and a description of any modifications made to such public data set. Registration requirements, license requirements or restrictions as used in this section shall not include measures required to ensure access to public data sets, to protect the single web site housing public data sets from unlawful abuse or attempts to damage or impair use of the web site, or to analyze the types of data being used to improve service delivery.http://cityofnewyork.github.io/opendatatsm/LocalLaw11of2012.html
If information is to be truly public, and maximally re-usable, there should be no license-related barrier to the re-use of public information. To be completely “open,” public government information should be released completely into the worldwide public domain and clearly labeled as such. Opening data into the public domain removes barriers to information access, helps disseminate knowledge, aids in data preservation, promotes civic engagement and entrepreneurial activity and extends the longevity of the technological investments used to open information in the first place.
An open data policy must be explicit about this because copyright law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Moreover, while the U.S. Copyright Act explicitly does not include federal government works, it is silent on U.S. state and local government works. This, coupled with the additional complexities of copyright law (and ownership of various types of government data), mean special attention should be applied to all government data and the ease of its legal re-use. If the government data in question is not explicitly in the worldwide public domain, it should be given an explicit public domain dedication [such as the Creative Commons CC0 statement or a Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL)—both of which combine a waiver and a license].
The City of Oakland shall license any Open Data it publishes for free re-use to ensure clarity of copyright without legal responsibility or liability for publishing such data as described further below.http://www.scribd.com/doc/171673962/Resolution-Establishing-An-Open-Data-Policy-For-The-City-Of-Oakland-For-Making-Public-Data-Available-In-Machine-Readable-Formats-Using-Open-Data-Stand
While failure to provide attribution for government data should never be actionable, users of government data should be encouraged to note the origin of data sources by accurately citing those sources. The practice of citing government data can be encouraged by having direct data managers develop model citations for their data sets. These model citations should both list key elements of the source’s identity that would be required to effectively identify an individual data source and identify the unit of government which created or maintains the data. Where data users are actually transforming government data in some way, encouraging the proper citation of government data will allow end users to distinguish between problems with government data quality and intermediary data quality by providing a clear route back to the original source of the data.
Providing a common and fully described core metadata scheme (as well as other documentation) can be useful for the public and government alike. A strong metadata scheme takes its lead from common international meta attributes (such as DCAT), and allows data publishers to classify contextual fields or elements within their datasets. Commonly defined fields for such notations not only provide helpful context about the data’s creation, quality and uses, but also help automate discovery mechanisms at the granular level, serving both government interoperability and the public discovery process.
The platform will support a common and fully described core metadata scheme for each hosted dataset and Application Program Interface (API) within the data catalogue. The metadata scheme would allow data publishers to classify selected contextual fields or elements within their dataset as well as adhere to common Meta attributes identified platform-wide empowering the data consumers to build automated discovery mechanisms at a granular-level. Using a common metadata taxonomy will allow Open New York to convey and increase discoverability of high-value datasets…http://nys-its.github.io/open-data-handbook/directives.html
Providing quality data and insight into the operations of the government via government information requires an understanding of how the data was created. A summary of the processes that were used to create a specific data set provides valuable context that might not be discernable via metadata alone and should accompany the data set’s release. Documentation of the workflow helps the public and government alike discern qualities about the dataset otherwise unavailable, such as (but not limited to): the sourcing, reliability, rarity and usability of the data. Additionally, documenting data creation processes can identify redundancy and areas for workflow and data creation improvements.
Unique identifiers are reference numbers used to identify unique individuals, entities or locations. The use of unique identifiers within and across data sets improves the quality and accuracy of data analysis. Without unique identifiers, some analyses can become difficult or impossible, since similar names may or may not refer to the same entities. Importantly, identifiers should be non-proprietary and public.
Several approaches could be taken to the development and dissemination of unique identifiers. For example, managers of individual data sets could be charged with developing the unique identifiers for the entities they most reference. Alternatively, a lead actor may oversee the development of a comprehensive identifier development schema. See also this list of extensive resources about the need for unique identifiers for corporate entities.
In addition to data, the code used to create government websites, portals, tools and other online resources can provide benefits as valuable open data itself. Governments should employ open source solutions whenever possible to enable sharing and make the most out of these benefits.
Use of Open Source Software by State Agencies.
I. For all software acquisitions, each state agency, in consultation with the department of information technology, shall: (a) Consider whether proprietary or open source software offers the most cost effective software solution for the agency, based on consideration of all associated acquisition, support, maintenance, and training costs; (b) Except as provided in subparagraphs (d) and (e), acquire software products primarily on a value-for-money basis, based on consideration of the cost factors as described in subparagraph (a); (c) Provide a brief analysis of the purchase decision, including consideration of the cost factors in subparagraph (a), to the chief information officer; (d) Avoid the acquisition of products that do not comply with open standards for interoperability or data storage; and (e) Avoid the acquisition of products that are known to make unauthorized transfers of information to, or permit unauthorized control of or modification of a state agency's computer.
II. All state procurement documents related to software acquisitions shall include language that requires adherence to this section.http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/i/21-r/21-r-11.htm
Open data policies can address not only information currently or soon to be available in an electronic format, but also undigitized archival material. Examples include everything from old budgets or meeting minutes to photos and maps.
Questions about what archival material should be digitized and what timelines are realistic for digitizing archival material can be informed by the same kind of prioritization process used for general data release (see Provision 5). Public participation and feedback from impacted government stakeholders will be key to making the digitization of archival material an effective process.
Data portals and similar websites can facilitate the distribution of open data by providing an easy-to-access, searchable hub for multiple data sets. At their best, these portals or hubs promote interaction with and reuse of open data and provide documentation for the use of information (see Provision 13). Portals can be generalized or specific (e.g., a spending or ethics portal), and can vary in terms of their sophistication. For specific portals, they should link to related portals when appropriate. Users looking at a portal for city campaign finance data, for example, could benefit from seeing a direct link to that city's portal for lobbying information. Portals and other related websites also provide governments with the opportunity to go into detail about issues and policies related to its commitment to openness and transparency. To facilitate their findability these websites should permit indexing and searching by third parties such as search engines.
There are several helpful features that should be included in general or specific portals. A list of what data is contained there is one necessary feature that makes it easy for users to quickly see what kinds of information are available on the data portal. If appropriate, this could be done through a link to a data inventory. Another beneficial feature to include in data portals is a view of analytics on data downloads. This will help users and government data providers understand what datasets are of the highest interest.
Each agency shall use reasonable efforts to make appropriate and existing electronic data sets maintained by the agency electronically available at no cost to the public through the city's open data portal at data.honolulu.gov or its successor website designated by the city's director of information technology.http://www.slideshare.net/Bytemarks/bill-53-fd1
Bulk access provides a simple but effective means of publishing data sets in full by enabling the public to download all of the information stored in a database at once. This is a step beyond simply making select data sets or search results available for download or export and is critical for supporting the maximal reuse and analysis of data. Whether offered as a feature of a data portal—or even as a simple “click to download” button on a government agency webpage describing or displaying information—bulk access to information is often one of the simplest and most direct steps a government entity can take to share public information.
the publication of bulk public informationhttp://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/sbillenr/SB0283.pdf
Although bulk data (see Provision 19) provides the most basic access to searching and retrieving government data, government bodies can also develop APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, that allow third parties to automatically search, retrieve or submit information directly from databases online (see Open Government Data). Navigating requirements for bulk data and APIs should be done in consultation with people with technical expertise as well as with likely users of the information.
To optimize data quality and timeliness, disclosure regulations should take advantage of online data-collection methods. Electronic filing, also known as "e-filing," is one method of optimizing the quality and timeliness of data collection. To avoid the inefficiencies created by paper-based filing systems, governments should require online, electronic filing so long as filers can be reasonably expected to have access to the necessary technology. Electronic filing requirements save money, make real-time disclosure possible and allow structured data to be created at the same moment information is being filed, whereas paper filings only make reuse and analysis more difficult. Electronic filing provisions should include detailed language about what constitutes a “complete” filing and what to do if the online e-filing service is down.
The ideal of online data is “real time” access: data should be made available as close as possible to the time that it is collected. It is not enough to mandate the one-time release of a data set, because it becomes incomplete as soon as additional data is created but not published. In order to ensure that the information published is as accurate and useful as possible, specific requirements should be put in place to make sure government data is released as close as possible to the time that it is gathered and collected.
While sometimes challenging, this kind of rapid publishing becomes less of a burden when combined with others measures for digitizing data collection and publishing, such as electronic filing (see Provision 21), central data locations (see Provision 18) and APIs (see Provision 20).
Each agency shall update its electronic data sets in the manner prescribed by the chief information officer and as often as is necessary to preserve the integrity and usefulness of the data sethttp://www.slideshare.net/Bytemarks/bill-53-fd1
Once released, digitized government data should remain permanently available, “findable” at a stable online location or through archives in perpetuity. Although portals and websites can be vehicles for accessing this data over the long term (see Provision 18), it is critical that the data’s permanent release and accessibility is defined so as to apply to the data itself, not just the means of access.
Provisions relating to permanence can also be expanded to relate to updates, changes or other alterations to the data. For best use by the public, these changes should be documented to include appropriate version-tracking and archiving over time. These provisions should build on the strengths of existing records management laws and procedures (see Provision 2).
permanent, lasting, open access to public informationhttp://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/sbillenr/SB0283.pdf
Open data policies should be practically aspirational, meaning that they should define a vision for why the policy is being implemented, but also be able to provide actionable steps for the government and oversight authorities to follow to see the policy through to implementation. Creating regulations or guidance can ensure a strong, reliable policy and usually mean the difference between policy passed for show versus policy passed for substance. Regulations help make the work of oversight and implementation authorities possible. Open data policies can also direct guidance to be created from a basic framework described in the policy. So, rather than spelling out the entirety of data standards in the original policy document, governments can include direction in their policies that guidance be created to help agencies comply with online public access to non-proprietary, machine-readable data published in open formats.
Just as public preferences should be incorporated into the development of an open data policy and in the prioritization of data sets for initial release, the public should be involved in the ongoing assessment and review of the policy’s implementation. Governments should create meaningful opportunities for public feedback about data quality, quantity, selection, and format, as well as the user-friendliness of the point of access. In addition, this feedback should be formally considered and addressed when the policy undergoes review (see Provision 31).
Include a public engagement strategy to ensure on-going feedback and collaboration with citizens and data users
FURTHER RESOLVED: Within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this resolution, the City Administrator or his/her designee shall prepare and present to the City Council's Finance and Management Committee for public review and comment, an informational report on the draft Regulations setting forth the technical requirements and standards for publishing Open Data sets in raw or unprocessed formats for the purpose of making Open Data available to the greatest number of users and for the greatest number of applications, as well as the guidelines and processes necessary for the effective implementation of this Open Data Policy; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED: The City Administrator and his/her designee shall take into account such public review and comment before finalizing such Regulations for publication; and be it
and FURTHER RESOLVED: Within twelve months of the effective date of this resolution, the City Administrator or his/her designee shall publish an inventory of Open Data and a plan for disseminating it; and such plan should include any information regarding the current state that the data exists in, as well as the costs and barriers of releasing it as Open Data; such inventory and plan will be presented to the City Council's Finance and Management Committee as an Informational Report for public review and comment;http://www.scribd.com/doc/171673962/Resolution-Establishing-An-Open-Data-Policy-For-The-City-Of-Oakland-For-Making-Public-Data-Available-In-Machine-Readable-Formats-Using-Open-Data-Stand
Setting clear deadlines can demonstrate the strength of a commitment and will help translate commitments into results. Deadlines can also help identify failures clearly, opening the door to public oversight. Relevant actors should be given enough time to prepare for the changes brought on by the new open data policy, but not so much time that the policy becomes inoperable. The timeline should be firm, provide motivation for action and have actionable goals and benchmarks that can be used as a metric for compliance. These goals or checkpoints can include qualitative and quantitative measurements.
Data quality will not be ensured through data release alone: efforts need to be made to keep the data up-to-date, accurate and accessible. Data release should be approached as an iterative and ongoing process. As soon as sensitive information and security concerns are met, data should be released and regularly updated as it improves and grows. Data with serious accuracy and quality concerns should be adequately documented to avoid creating confusion or misinformation. Similarly, public data reporting streams that are separate from what is used within government should be avoided whenever possible, as redundant or parallel data streams can create opportunities for data quality to suffer. Each update should include clear and complete metadata (including a conspicuous contact person), group datasets where appropriate, and address concerns noted via a prominent feedback mechanism.
Annual Open Data Report. Within one year of the effective date of this Executive Order, and thereafter no later than September 1 of each year, the Open Data Management Team shall submit to the Mayor an annual open data report. Such annual report shall: (i) summarize and comment on the state of open data and dataset availability in City agencies from the previous year; (ii) provide a plan for the next year to improve online public access to public data and maintain data quality. The Open Data Management Team shall present an initial implementation plan to the Mayor within 180 days of this Executive Order.http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/sites/default/files/files/Mayor_2013-Open%20Portal%20Exec%20Order.pdf
Like any other initiative, implementing an open data policy should be done with an eye on long-term sustainability. One way to do this is to consider funding sources for the implementation of the policy as well as its future maintenance. Sufficient funding can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful policies. Funding should be considered for—but not limited to—the potential of the following: new staff (administrative, technical and legal), new software (to house, extract and input data), training and server maintenance. While each jurisdiction’s ability to fund will vary, significant consideration should go into identifying the resources reserved to assist and support an open data ecosystem.
Partnerships can be useful in a variety of important efforts related to data release, such as: increasing the availability of open data, identifying constituent priorities for data release (see Provision 5), and connecting government information to that held by nonprofits, think tanks, academic institutions and nearby governments. Such partnerships can aid civic participation, help identify the gaps in service delivery, among other benefits. Public-private partnerships can be via contract, informal cooperation, or an exchange for rights or privileges. In addition to using commonly used formats, reaching out to nearby governments to explore ways to share data, experience, and workloads can assist in achieving open data outcomes.
The Open Government Plan shall describe steps the County shall take to enhance and expand its practices to further cooperation among County Agencies, other governmental agencies, the public, and non-profit and private entities in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the County. The Plan shall include specific details about: (1) Proposed changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve collaboration; and (2) Proposals to use technology platforms to improve collaboration among employees and the public; and (3) Descriptions of and links to appropriate websites where the public can learn about existing collaboration efforts; and (4) Innovative methods, such as prizes and competitions, to obtain ideas from, and to increase collaboration with, the public, as well as those in the private sector, non-profit, and academic communities.
Within 45 days, the President shall establish a working group that focuses on transparency, accountability, public participation, and collaboration within County government. This group, with senior level representation from other County Agencies, shall serve several critical functions, including: (1) Transparency Forum. The working group shall provide a forum to share best practices on innovative ideas to promote transparency. This shall include system and process solutions for information collection, aggregation, validation, and dissemination; and (2) Participation and Collaboration Forum. The working group shall provide a forum to share best practices on innovative ideas to promote participation and collaboration, including how to experiment with new technologies, take advantage of the expertise and insight of people both inside and outside of County government, and form high-impact collaborations with researchers, the private sector, and the public; and (3) Public Input Forum. The working group shall provide a forum for developing resolutions to issues in accordance with Sec. 2-5(h) herein.http://cookcountygov.com/ll_lib_pub_cook/cook_ordinance.aspx?WindowArgs=1458
Just as publishing open data is an ongoing process that requires attention to its quality and upkeep (see Provision 28), so too does the policy that establishes it. In order to keep up with current best practices and feedback from existing policy oversight, open data policies should mandate future review of the policy itself as well as of any guidance created by the policy or other implementation processes.
Open data policies should acknowledge that the context in which they operate is rapidly changing over time and will likely need sustained attention to remain relevant. There is a wide array of topics a review could, and should, cover. One key focus of review is understanding the audience for open data. Attention should be given to capturing details such as who is using government data, which data is being used, what the data is being used for and more.
In acknowledgment that technology changes rapidly, in the future, the Open Data Policy should be reviewed and considered for revisions or additions that will continue to position Metro Government as a leader on issues of openness, efficiency, and technical best practices.http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9E90910B-2D16-4F00-87B4-F5476BBEA792/0/opendata.pdf