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Open data plan

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October 2016

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) adopted an Open Data Policy that directs state agencies to develop, implement and maintain an open data plan by October 1, 2016.  Agencies also must report to the OCIO at least every twelve months on the status, progress and evolution of their plans.

As part of its core mission, the Office of Financial Management (OFM) performs research and analysis on a vast array of topics.  We are committed to ensuring public access to the data created, received and transmitted by our agency.  By making data available in an open and readily usable format, we facilitate transparency in government and enable the public and policymakers to engage in our work and make better decisions. 

OFM will actively support and promote open data in our work as outlined in this plan.

Principles

OFM commits to these core principles:

  • We are active proponents of open data as part of our core mission. 
  • We promote data access for the public, researchers and decision makers while conforming to privacy and data security requirements in state and federal law. 
  • We will accommodate requests for data and information, subject to privacy, data security, and workload constraints.  Requests that fall under the Public Records Act will be handled in accordance with the requirements of the act. 
  • Where workload constraints limit our ability to meet data needs, we will pursue Lean principles to improve our efficiency.
  • When other data providers face technical constraints limiting their ability to provide data, we will endeavor to use our technical capacity to meet that demand.

Plan representatives

Stacey Scott, Assistant Director for Data and Technology, is the Open Data Plan representative.  She will guide implementation of this plan and monitor the agency’s progress.  Other OFM employees will have a role in implementing elements of the plan as outlined below. 

The Assistant Director for Data and Technology will facilitate the review and evaluation of this plan on an annual basis.  Revisions will be proposed to the OFM Management Team whenever necessary.

Definitions

This plan is based upon the following definitions provided in OCIO’s open data policy.

Data means final versions of statistical or factual information that:

  • are in alphanumeric form reflected in a list, table, graph, chart, or other nonnarrative form, that can be digitally transmitted or processed;
  • are regularly created or maintained by or on behalf of an agency and controlled by such agency; and
  • record a measurement, transaction, or determination related to the mission of the agency.

Data set is a named collection of related records maintained on a storage device, with the collection containing data organized or formatted in a specific or prescribed way, often in tabular form.

Open data means public data that are freely available, machine readable, and structured in a way that enables the data to be fully discoverable and usable by end users.  Open data does not include:

  • Data identified by the state agency holding it as category 3 or category 4 data under the data categorization provisions of the state policy “Securing Information Technology Assets” (OCIO policy 141.10 section 4)
  • Any data set or portion of a data set to which the state agency may deny access pursuant to the public records act, chapter 42.56 RCW, or any other provision of a federal or state law, rule, interpretive policy statement, regulation or local law;
  • Data that reflects the internal deliberative process of a state agency or agencies, including but not limited to:
    • negotiating positions,
    • future procurements
    • pending or reasonably anticipated legal or administrative proceedings;
  • Data subject to copyright, patent, trademark, confidentiality agreements, or trade secret protection;
  • Proprietary applications, computer code, software, operating systems, or similar materials;
  • Data related to internal state agency administration, including employment records, internal employee-related directories or lists, and facilities data;
  • Any unstructured data that cannot feasibly be converted to an open format as required by uniform standards adopted by the OCIO without undue financial, operative, or administrative burden on the state agency; or
  • Data or data sets classified as category 2 data pursuant to the state policy “Securing Information Technology Assets” (OCIO policy 141.10 section 4) that the head of a state agency, after due consideration and consultation with the OCIO, determines should not be published on the open data portal because publication would be detrimental to the public interest.

Strategies and procedures

  1. OFM will incorporate public access when acquiring, redesigning or rebuilding information systems. 
    • Decision packages for information systems submitted for review by OCIO will include open data as a component of the system design.  
    • Project changes or updates discussed and approved at OFM IT Portfolio Committee meetings will include consideration of public access.  
    • We will create a list of our agency’s principal databases, noting whether they provide electronic public access.  (Data and Technology) 

     

  2. OFM will coordinate technology planning across agency boundaries to facilitate electronic access to state data by:
    • naming the Assistant Director for Data and Technology responsible for overseeing our open data efforts and reporting outcomes and results to OCIO at least every twelve months.  
    • providing oversight of select technology services that interconnect agency systems.  (Data and Technology)
    • compiling and publishing a forward-looking list of significant upcoming data releases and updates.  (Data and Technology) 
    • identifying staff in each OFM division who will be responsible for management of data, including open data or specific data sets.  (All assistant directors) 

     

  3. OFM will develop processes to determine which information the public most wants and needs by:
    • engaging strategic partners whenever possible for suggestions on which datasets to prioritize.  (All divisions)
    • tracking the number of hits on select agency webpages.  (Communications)
    • reviewing the dates and topics of public records requests to determine whether the most frequently requested data can be posted online.  (Legal and Legislative Affairs) 
    • maintaining a list of research and data requests received.  (Forecasting & Research)  Note:  ERDC already does this.  

     

  4. OFM will develop and use the following methods to readily withhold or redact nondisclosable data.
    • In 2017, all OFM staff will be trained on public records requirements and procedures, including approved methods to withhold nondisclosable data.   (Legal and Legislative Affairs)  
    • The agency will develop standards to apply to datasets before opening those that may contain real or potential personal identifiers.   (Data and Technology)
    • Pursuant to RCW 43.105.365 and Executive Order 16-01, we will continue to examine our data retention practices and retain personal information only as long as needed to carry out the purpose for which it was originally collected or the minimum period required by law.  Our practices also will adhere to the state general retention schedules adopted in 2016 (Version 6.0), which made numerous changes in how data should be handled.   (All employees)

     

  5. OFM will develop and employ technical mechanisms for posting open data by:
    • identifying IT tools necessary for extracting, transforming and loading datasets to our websites.  (Data and Technology)
    • publishing and posting a list of open datasets that includes their website locations.  (Data and Technology)
    • requiring assistant directors to name a person in their unit who will be responsible for posting these datasets and communicating updates to the Data and Technology unit for purposes of maintaining the open data inventory.  (All assistant directors/Data and Technology)

Relevant law and resources

OFM Open Data Inventory [Excel spreadsheet]
OCIO Policy 187 - Open Data Planning
Electronic access to public records – RCW 43.105.351

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