D.C. Open Government Action Plan

V.        Open Data

Earlier this year Mayor Vincent Gray issued the 2014 Transparency and Open Data Directive directing the Chief Technology Officer to serve as, or designate, the District’s first Chief Data Officer, and creating the Open Government Advisory Group. We recommend that the new mayor move forward on elements of that Directive and build in performance indicators as a necessary part of developing capacity to implement technology policy and identify opportunities for improved data management. We have several suggestions for improvements in other areas related to open data.

Transparency and Open Data Directive

We recommend that the new mayor prioritize implementation of the following:

  • Implement the Open Government Advisory Group: The Open Data Directive created this group and Mayor Gray appointed it in late October. The new mayor should adopt this initiative.  See below at 19.
  • Empower the Chief Data Officer: The new position of Chief Data Officer must have the mayor’s backing to achieve the goals outlined here and in the Directive. See below at 19.
  • Develop benchmarks on open data for the Office of the Chief Technology Officer:  
    The Office of the Chief Technology Officer’s (OCTO) FY2015 Performance Plan and Report should include a section dedicated to the District’s open data initiative that measures OCTO’s performance of the following open government and open data objectives: transparency, government efficiency, civic participation, policy outcomes, access, technology and innovation, and accountability. See below at 19.

Other open data recommendations

  • Create an Open Innovation Fund: The District should reserve funding for civic-oriented open data technology projects and engage in public/private, regional, academic, philanthropic, non-profit, and community organization partnerships to implement them.
  • Seek community views when evaluating open data tech projects: To ensure the success of data-driven city services the mayor should work with the Advisory Group and public stakeholders to identify and prioritize access to high-value datasets.
  • Create an Open Data Roadmap: Transparency and open government is an ongoing process. The new practices established by the Open Data Directive should be continued through regular review and updates in consultation with the Advisory Group and with the community. See below at 19.
  • Create new, dynamic open data engagement platforms: A robust technology ecosystem requires feedback and collaboration between constituents and their government. Agencies should proactively facilitate programming, platforms, and strategies for engaging the public writ large, and relevant stakeholders in ongoing and emerging open data and open government efforts. The District can learn from best practice examples from around the country for a variety of vital, community-driven initiatives. See below at 21.