Open Data LegislationPosted on Mar 6, 2013 in CIO Blogs
Since becoming the State’s first full-time CIO, my staff and I have developed and openly published a comprehensive Business and Information Technology/Information Resource Management (IT/IRM) Transformation Plan that provides the roadmap for modernizing the State’s technology infrastructure and streamlining its business processes. One of the top 10 initiatives outlined in the Transformation Plan is Open Government. H.B. 632 aligns to this initiative, and thus we strongly support the intent of the bill. The Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) clearly supports making government more open and transparent. The State provides a wealth of information and data that we are making more accessible and interactive through our open data portal at www.data.hawaii.gov, which has been federated with groundbreaking federal open data site www.data.gov. The open data portal is one example of how the State is proactively aggregating disparate data and information to make it more accessible and user-friendly, eliminating the need for visitors to have to “hunt and peck” to find what they are looking for. Open data builds trust among citizens by making government more transparent with the sharing of information. Open data also encourages innovation with developers as they create applications from the information available to address specific needs of the community, whether its constituents tracking the spending of candidates or parents looking for the nearest playground or park for their keiki or anything in between. Most importantly, open data encourages citizen participation and engagement with their government. With support from the Governor, OIMT launched its Open Data Initiative on June 26, 2012 asking all departments and attached agencies to contribute datasets to the open data portal and to name Open Data Coordinators to work with OIMT to further build out the information offered to the public. The State has the opportunity to leapfrog to the front of the pack in terms of open government and open data by developing innovative applications and continuing to make the raw data behind these applications open and available. This is the public’s information and we want to make it available in as many ways as we can. OIMT is working to create a new paradigm regarding data, believing that it should be open by default unless there is a compelling reason – usually privacy or security-related – to keep it closed.