Mayor Berke Signs Order Saying City Data Is Open To The Public

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mayor Andy Berke, on Saturday morning at the Hack-a-nooga coding event, announced and signed an executive order creating an open data policy.

Officials said Executive Order No. 2014-04 "adopts open standards to improve transparency of government functions, provide more access to public information, and improve coordination and efficiencies among organizations across the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Through this order, not only will the Open Data Policy be established but the city will create an open data web portal, advisory group, and data inventory, as well as an annual open data compliance report."

Mayor Berke said, “By opening up government data to the public, city government will be more open, transparent, and accountable to our citizens. My order pushes City Hall to collaborate and create open-source web applications that will address important issues in our community like public safety and growing our local economy.”

A draft of the open data policy was posted on GitHub for public input on Feb. 13, 2014. (Read a blog post by Mayor Berke on the topic by clicking here. After feedback and revisions were made to the policy, the mayor’s office finalized it and presented it to Mayor Berke for final approval.

This is Mayor Berke’s fourth executive order since taking office; previous orders tackled such issues as ethics, personnel policies, and chronic veterans homelessness.


No. 2014-04

City of Chattanooga Open Data Policy


            WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the “City”) is committed to improving the community by fostering open, transparent, valuable, effective, accountable, and accessible government functions; and,

            WHEREAS, by removing barriers to data, the City of Chattanooga seeks to develop opportunities for civic engagement, economic development, commerce, and increased investment; and,

            WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga commits to working to enable data captured and used by the City to be more easily accessible by people and advanced technologies and applications (“Machines”), while at the same time protecting the privacy rights and personal safety of others; and,

            WHEREAS, the adoption of open standards improves transparency of government functions, access to public information, and improved coordination and efficiencies among organizations across the public, non-profit, and private sectors; and,

            WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga commits to strive for a future in which important government data and information will be open data by default.

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andy Berke, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, by virtue of the executive and administrative authority vested in me by the Charter of the City of Chattanooga and the statutes and laws of the state of Tennessee, do hereby direct and order as follows::

            1. City of Chattanooga data portal

            a. A single web portal shall be (i) established and maintained by or on behalf of the City; and (ii) located at or its successor website.

            b. Any data set made accessible on the City’s data portal shall use a machine readable format whose specification is publicly and freely available and which places no restrictions monetary or otherwise upon its use.

            2. Data set availability

            a. Each City agency or department (“Agency”) shall identify and publish priority existing datasets, maintained within the department, to the City's data portal. Priority shall be given to data that has been frequently requested by members of the public through existing mechanisms such as the Tennessee Open Records Act.

            b. Agencies shall treat newly created datasets as open by default and publish said datasets to the City's open data portal, except data that the Office of the City Attorney determines to be confidential, privileged or otherwise protected by law.

            3. Open Data Advisory Group

            a. An Open Data Advisory Group shall be chaired by the Chief Information Officer, or the designee of the Chief Information Officer, and include open data coordinators from each city agency.

            b. The Open Data Advisory Group shall assist the Department of Information Technology in the creation of the annual open data compliance report required under paragraph 6.

            4. Open data coordinator

            a. The head of each Agency shall designate from within the City agency an open data coordinator, who shall (i) assist the Agency in implementing its duties under this Order; (ii) serve on the Open Data Advisory Group; (iii) upon request, meet with the Open Data Advisory Group  to discuss any matter pertaining to implementation of this Order; and (iv) assist the Department of Information Technology in the preparation of the annual open data compliance report required under paragraph 6 of this Order.

            5. Data inventory

            a. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Order, a complete inventory of existing data within all Agencies shall be cataloged in a public manner, and will clearly articulate (i) if the data is available in a digital form; (ii) if the data is Machine readable; (iii) the Agency that is responsible for the data; (iv) if the data and metadata are clearly documented; and (v) if the data is available on the open data portal, and if not, reason(s) why.

b. The data inventory shall be regularly updated and available on the City's open data portal.

            6. Annual open data compliance report

            a. Within 360 days of the effective date of this Order, and no later than July 15 of each year thereafter, the chair of the Open Data Advisory Group shall submit to the Mayor an annual open data compliance report prepared with the assistance of the Open Data Advisory Group.

            b. Such annual report shall (i) establish, on an Agency specific basis, reasonable timelines, implementation plans and review processes to promote, over time and in steadily graduated fashion, increased online public access to city agency data sets except those that are confidential, privileged or otherwise protected by law; and (ii) summarize and comment on the state of open data and data set availability in the Agencies.

            c. The report shall be made available on the City data portal.

            7. Technology-related procurements

            a. The Chief Information Officer shall work to develop contract guidelines to promote open data policies in technology-related procurements. These guidelines shall promote the City’s open data policies, including, where appropriate, requirements to post data on the City's open data portal or to make data available through other means.

            8. Open data terms of use

            a. The Department of Information Technology will help with the acquisition of a license that conforms to the principles set forth in the Open Knowledge Definition, under which to publish the data and make the license clearly known on the City's data portal.

            IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have executed this Executive Order No. 2014-04 this the 31st day of May, 2014.






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