Many cities and states around the U.S. are adopting open data policies and practices to share information with residents and other stakeholders. What are the 3 most important things you would do as governor to make state data “open”?
We are still waiting for a response from Tom Corbett.
A. I would appoint Boards and Commissions whose members are aggressively dedicated to full disclosure by default. Databases cannot be allowed to exist passively. Their content must be pushed by people eager to see the information used for public benefit. Translations of raw data into popular formats, with easy navigation toward customizable details, is essential. B. Would appoint a special commission to coordinate and monitor the above. C. Would reward best practices and punish data hoarding.
Municipalities, counties and school districts are subdivisions of the state. One of the biggest abuses of “right to know” concerns executive sessions. HB 1671 appears to address the most important concerns by narrowing the instances when an executive session can be called and requiring an audio recording of it so if an allegation arises that it was improperly held the matter can be verified by a judge. The bill would also require the solicitor to go on record with his advice as to whether such a session is warranted. I support the bill. Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln and any organization or business that receives government/taxpayer money would need to be subject to Right to Know and Open Access policies.
See answers to #1, #2, #3. As mentioned, citizens should have the ability to decide which data most need to be open.
As governor, my open data policy will be designed with the goal of leveraging information to improve on three fronts: greater transparency in government; greater participation and understanding among the public for what their government does; and improving collaboration with people engaging state agencies and elected officials as part of the policymaking process. To do that, I would undertake three initial steps to move Pennsylvania toward an open-data government: 1) Conduct a top-to-bottom inventory of what information exists and identify in what format that data is available. 2) Assess what information outlets currently exist within each state agency now and consider how these “silos” can be integrated into one convenient access point for all public inquiries. 3) Change the mindset of state government to be one where information is proactively made available as opposed to the more common approach today of releasing
First, as Governor, I would select a member of my team to serve as a full-time Director of Open Data, whose primary goal is to research the project; oversee and execute the audit of data available; implement a plan to effectively and efficiently collect and centralize the process and the data; provide recommendations and direction to create an online, one-stop-shop for public access to data and information; and to maintain the records, data and information available to the public. Second, I would assemble a specific group of stakeholders (citizens, non-profit and news organizations, business and local government officials) to provide input and feedback during each stage of the audit, creation of the site, as well as on-going maintenance and improvements. Finally, I would push for additional education regarding open data process / policies. To ensure the success of the open data policy, the public, government, private business, communities, etc., must be made aware of the process and what is available. Through the education of staff, the public and stakeholders, we will have the ability to foster greater government transparency and public trust in the process.
As I said, as governor, I will form a group to investigate an open data plan for Pennsylvania, drawing ideas from what has and is being done in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
First, I will be a vocal advocate for publicly sharing information, and my administration will be committed to transparency, participation, and collaboration – this is something I am serious about doing as governor. Second, I will create an office that is directly responsible for ensuring we follow through on this commitment. Third, I will support legislative efforts to make sure Pennsylvania remains an open and transparent state for years to come.