Bill creates new standard for government transparency and accountability
(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) announced legislation to make California a leader in open data at a Data Summit organized by California Forward, a government reform non-profit organization, which convened leading government transparency tool developers. Ting’s objective is to make more information about our state government freely available for everyone to access, analyze, and republish without restrictions.
“We know open data leads to more accountability and efficiency,” said Ting. “As the home of Silicon Valley, California should be an open data leader. We have seen how open data works in communities across the state, especially San Francisco. Data crunching technology is readily available and inexpensive, making it easier than ever for citizens to assess the performance of their government. We must seize the potential of the next frontier in open government.”
Ting’s Assembly Bill (AB) 1215 creates the California Open Data Act. It enables the Governor to appoint a Chief Data Officer tasked with presiding over a centralized online information portal for state agencies to submit standardized data for public access. The bill requires state agencies and departments to appoint a data coordinator to work with the Chief Data Officer to ensure the transference of information under the Act.
Through www.data.ca.gov, California has begun to post some open data online. Visitors to the site can track tax revenues to schools approved under Proposition 30 and access data state agencies, including the CA Health and Human Services Agency which launched its open data initiative last November. Ting’s AB 1215 would develop www.data.ca.gov so that data about the environment, corrections, consumer affairs and more would be available in a standard format for easy public use.
"California Forward is a strong supporter of open data and is pleased Assemblymember Ting pushing the cause forward,” said Jim Mayer, President and CEO at California Forward. “California should lead the rapidly growing movement to leverage data and technology for transparency, efficiency and improved governance. Open data is also a means to increase public trust, engage citizens and improve the quality of public services"
San Francisco launched its open data site in 2010 at www.data.sfgov.org, which includes open data from a huge range of government programs and services – housing, property tax assessments, transportation, public safety, health and human services, and the environment According to the U.S. City Open Data Census, at http://us-city.census.okfn.org/, San Francisco ranks second among U.S. cities in open data access. Los Angeles ranks third and Sacramento ranks ninth.
On Monday, the California State Assembly passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 41 by Ting, sponsored by California Forward, declaring the week of March 15-21 as “Sunshine Week.” Further information about ACR 41 and AB 1215 is available at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Contact: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019