#DataNews: Global Open Data Index Results, Recognizing Public Servants, & Baltimore’s Partnership

May 12, 2017 6:42 am PST | Data News Roundup

This Tuesday marked the first reporting deadline for the DATA Act, which experts believe will lead to a stronger relationship between agencies and congress. Also this week: Public Service Recognition Week, Baltimore partners with a local university, Delaware centralizes services for a better citizen experience, and the annual Global Open Data Index is out. Read on for more of this week’s open data news.

A Week to Publicly Recognize the Good Work of Federal Employees

“Every year since 1985, seven days in May have been designated as Public Service Recognition Week, a time to honor federal, state and local government employees and acknowledge the many benefits they provide to the American public.” Read more from the Washington Post.

DATA Act Could Improve Agency Relations with Congress

“Financial reporting requirements imposed by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) could open up better communications between agencies and Congress, according to experts. ‘We have congressional attention on what you all are doing, and that is a good thing, not a bad thing. We have members of Congress that want to know what the data format is in Federal spending,’ Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition, said at an Association of Government Accountants (AGA) event on Thursday. ‘Congress can serve as a partner in figuring out what the challenges are to get full data transparency.’” Read more from MeriTalk.

Privacy and Public Engagement in Seattle’s Open Data Policy

“The City of Seattle, Washington was one of the first U.S. cities to pursue open data, creating the first iteration of its open data portal in 2010 under Mayor Michael McGinn, a prominent proponent of government transparency. Since then, Seattle has established itself as a leader in open data, consistently increasing the volume and accessibility of available information. In 2015, Seattle was named a What Works City, and according to Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Michael Mattmiller, it came at the perfect time for building the city’s open data capabilities.” Read more from Data-Smart City Solutions.

Baltimore City Partners with University of Baltimore to Expand Open Data Portal

“The city of Baltimore is partnering with the University of Baltimore and the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance to enhance information sharing and data accessibility on the city’s open data portal….’With the growing number of public, private and community-based stakeholders relying on the availability of open data in Baltimore, the time is now to build a coalition to advocate for and provide feedback to the development of this information,’ said Mayor Pugh. ‘Our aim is greater transparency in government operations, data-informed public-sector decision-making and private-sector economic innovation.’” Read more from CivSource.

How Delaware Is Centralizing Services Through Open Data

“Just as with private sector counterparts, citizens now expect to be able to access government services through easy-to-use, single interfaces and portals. ‘Citizens today don’t see us in separate departments like environmental, health or public safety,’ said James Collins, Chief Information Officer of Delaware. ‘They see us simply as government. They want to be able to interact with us from anywhere, anytime as a single entity.’ In an interview with GovLoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO’s) 2017 Midyear Conference, Collins discussed the importance of centralization to unified experiences for citizens and better state services.” Read more from GovLoop.

Mapping Neighborhood-Level Health Indicators

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data on chronic diseases at the neighborhood level for the 500 largest cities in the country. The new data is part of the CDC’s 500 Cities initiative, which identifies, analyzes and reports on 27 chronic diseases, focusing on conditions, behaviors and risk factors that affect the public’s health. While this data has been available for states, counties and some cities, this project is the first to release data on a large scale for cities and neighborhoods within cities, CDC said.” Read more from GCN.

Open Data, the Underpinning of the Internet of Things

“Promoting innovation and idea development is key to becoming a smart city but needs to begin with opening up data for public access….This data-first approach has been the defining factor driving cities to become smarter and more innovative environments. According to the Sunlight Foundation, the five largest American cities — Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia — allow public access to data and have only continued to grow as exemplary smart cities.” Read more from Tech Target.

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