Seattle’s Open Data Playbook and the Future of Sunlight

September 22, 2016 12:00 pm PST | Data News Roundup

In Massachusetts, the newly unveiled CTHRU site brings transparency to the commonwealth’s payroll and spending, and on the west coast, Seattle just created a new open data playbook to guide staffers through posting open data online. Read about the 2016 Digital States Survey and more in this week’s Open Data Download.

How Digital is Your State?

“Results of the 2016 Digital States Survey indicate that the effort states are putting into innovation, collaboration and aligning their investments with citizens’ priorities has never been higher.” Read more from GovTech.

Where are your tax dollars going?

In Massachusetts, the newly unveiled CTHRU Payroll site brings transparency to the state’s payroll spending. Watch 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet crunch the numbers on the system that could save the state millions. Watch on WCVB5.

Please go help Baltimore Police with data transparency

“In the wake of a scathing report from the U.S. Department of Justice that was initiated after the Baltimore Uprising, improving the Baltimore Police Department’s relationship with the community is a big necessity for reform….On Saturday, Sept. 24, BPD is providing access to the beta of the Baltimore version of Project Comport. It’s a Code for America–created effort to open up more data. Police say a section of their new website will be dedicated “solely to transparency,” and include several datasets.” Read more from

Sunlight Foundation scales down, may merge

“One of Washington’s leading voices for transparency and public access to government data, the Sunlight Foundation, is planning to shut down much of its operation and may merge into another organization.” Read more from Politico.

Everybody wants digital government, but defining the ROI is another matter

“Government employees think that making their agency more digital is important, but many say they haven’t seen measurable benefits from the IT investment they’d already made, according to a new survey of government IT professionals.” Read more from GCN.

Seattle builds ‘playbook’ to guide open data efforts

“Just over six months after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray established a new open data policy, the city is rolling out an “open data playbook” to help guide staffers as they organize their information and work to post it online. The city’s IT department spent the last few months working to refine the new playbook following Murray’s February executive order to establish an “open by preference” policy for Seattle’s agencies, and formally posted the new document online for all to see late last month.” Read more from StateScoop.

Carl Malamud Has Standards

“For the past 25 years or so, Carl Malamud’s lonely mission has been to seize on the internet’s potential for spreading information — public information that people have a right to see, hear, and read…. If you have accessed EDGAR, the free Securities and Exchange Commission database of corporate information, you owe a debt to Malamud. Same with the database of patents, or the opinions of the US Court of Appeals. Without Malamud, the contents of the Federal Register might still cost $1,700 instead of nothing. If you have listened to a podcast, note that it was Carl Malamud who pioneered the idea of radio-like content on internet audio — in 1993.” Read more from Backchannel.


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