San Francisco has updated its open data policy with a new multi-year strategic plan that aims to create a stronger framework for government accountability, transparency and efficiency built on open data legislation first adopted in 2009.
“From being one of the first cities with an open data policy to pioneering new uses of open data in partnership with private companies such as Yelp and nonprofits like Code for America, this new plan takes San Francisco to the next level in increasing government transparency and efficiency,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. “Open data continues to unleash the creativity of everyday residents so they can help us improve city services that impact our everyday lives.”
The new strategic plan calls for six core goals over the next three years, but the primary focus is on publishing data to making it available in a form that fosters better use.
“Open data is about more simply posting data sets and building mobile apps,” Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro, who was hired in February, said in a release. “It’s also about transforming how government itself accesses and uses its own data. If we can solve our internal challenges around data use, by definition, we increase the ability of developers, community groups, non-profits and analysts to use our data.”
In 2009, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, now California’s lieutenant governor, issued an open data executive directive requiring city departments to make all non-confidential datasets under their authority available on DataSF, the city’s open data portal.
The city made revisions to the order in March 2013 and again that November, which created more accountability in open data within the government through the hiring of a chief data officer.
“When we revised the open data legislation to include the role of chief data officer, our goal was to spur the next phase of open data in San Francisco,” Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said in a release. “Our open data plan marks the arrival of that next phase and defines a path forward for increasing government transparency and efficiency by using data.”
“Opening our government data to the public will foster innovation throughout San Francisco, while also improving the quality of life for our residents and strengthening the city’s role in maintaining and growing a strong local economy,” Supervisor Mark Farrell said in a statement. “As a leader at the Board of Supervisors in advancing open data and open government initiatives, I believe the release of our city’s new strategic open data plan cements San Francisco’s commitment as a national leader in supporting and promoting open data.”