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Philadelphia Embraces The World Of Open Data

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 27 2012

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Photo: Flickr/Susan Beard/Knight Foundation

Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order Thursday that establishes a comprehensive new open data policy that includes the appointment of a chief data officer, and firm deadlines for the establishment of the new policy.

"The Open Data Policy puts in place the necessary framework, structure and governance that will increase collaboration among City departments and bring citizens closer to their government," said the city's Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid in a press statement. "This policy is the first installment in Mayor Nutter's vision for Philadelphia to become a model for increasing transparency and removing barriers to information sharing and collaboration."

As a result of the order, Philadelphia's going to have a new chief data officer within 90 days of the document's Thursday signing. The Mayor and Ebeid will also convene a working group of senior managers from across city government who will help to select the CDO.

The open data working group's role will also be to foster interaction with outside groups to garner input in the process of standing up the city's forthcoming open data portal. In addition to the working group, the city plans to have a nine-member Data Governance Advisory Board, composed of the CIO, the CDO, and someone appointed by the mayor within 120 days of Thursday's signing. The working group is soliciting nominations for the rest of the board from the public.

The city plans to throw open the virtual doors to an online open data portal within 90 days of the signing of the order, and expects to have established an open government plan within the next six months.

"The plan will detail, including specific actions and timelines, the steps that the City will take to incorporate the principles of open government into its daily activities," the order reads.

A copy of the order is available here.