City of Toronto: Openness in Government: An Open Data Journey: Part 1


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Presentation to Ontario Connections Toronto Conference on June 19, 2013

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  • Welcome to this afternoon's session on 'Openness in Government: An Open Data Journey'.   If you are in the wrong room, we encourage you to stay for the session : ) I am Nancy Isozaki . This is my colleague Trish Garner. We are both from the City of Toronto and we are your hosts on this journey for the next 50 minutes.
  • Focus on the internal governance perspective of Open Data. Celebrate Open Data in the community. Introducing Open Data, what it is, and why it is an important example of ‘openning up government’. Illustrations how well-managed information and data like Open Data supports ‘Open Government’ .   E xperiences on the Open Data jouney. And I’ll touch on where we will focus to mature the Open Data program in the City of Toronto . S can the Open Data examples . She’ll share the expanding partnerships internally and with the open data community. Opportunities we envision for technology platforms.
  • City of Toronto’s Open Data homepage. Open Data: way to make information accessible to the public – to open up government and create opportunities for civic engagement where the terms of engagement are not dictated or bound by government. Open Data is the City’s commitment to make raw or computer-readable datasets available to the public freely. Excel spreadsheet format is open. But a pdf document is not Tech-savy academics, media, researchers, community groups and developers use sofware to manipulate these publicly available datasets. They mash it up with other open datasets from other public and private organizations for public or commercial gain. Openning up computer-readable data was a goal set by former Mayor Miller. Open Data launched in late 2009 with a small splash. We posted 8 datasets and a Terms of Reference.
  • City of Toronto’s ‘Open Data’ experience. setting Open Data within the broader context of ‘Open Government’. Open Data is just one way or channel for the public to access information. international ‘Open Government Partnership’’s ‘4 Principles’ adopted by the City of Toronto’s Open Government Committee, which has oversight of Open Data. Governments have a public trust to uphold. Public right to access information to understand their City and their government. Providing Access to Information and being Transparent in Decision-making demonstrates Accountability. Oopen and transparent fundamental to building trust and confidence in government. Create opportunities for citizens to engage in issues & decision-making.   Open Government is a philosophy and a practice. Culture change.
  • The City of Toronto Committee and Meeting management system is an award-winning example of openness in government. We used to print 2.5 feet of reports for Councillors and senior staff before each meeting. Not very accessible, transparent or engaging! Today Council and Committee agendas and reports are published online, simultaneously for Councillor, staff and public. The information is searchable, map-based, mobile-friendly and allows the user to track an item status and votes as it moves through Committees and Council. Anyone can register online to speak to an item. & only 4% of the information is confidential or discussed in camera.
  • Open Government embodies the public's right to access information and the duty of government to safeguard personal information that it collects or creates.   Public trust improves when we provide timely, relevant, complete information. Public confidence improves when we make information transparent, meaning that information is findable and understandable. Well-managed information is the foundation of Open Government. The City of Toronto Information Management Framework sets information directions and goals within the broader Open Government outcomes.   The Information Management principles and Open Government themes guide how we govern and operate the Open Data program. Open Data is governed by 2 City of Toronto policies: Information Management Accountability Policy sets out 3 key messages for City staff. A) Information is a corporate asset. B) Staff are stewards, not owners of information – the public owns the information. C) All Employees share responsibility to manage information. These are culture changing expectations. The Open Data Policy builds on the Information Management Accountability Policy. The Open Data policy sets out principles, roles and responsibilities for City senior management and staff to plan and design systems for openness while protecting privacy and adhering to legislation.
  • OPEN DATA CHAMPIONS few role models for governance. we had a close call. We quickly pulled a dataset from the website to remove personal information that was buried in it. A privacy breach was avoided. Open Data would be a partnership between Information and Technology Division and the City Clerk’s Office. The Chief Information Officer and the City Clerk are jointly responsible for the program. They are our Open Data Champions. Why these two City Divisions ? The City Clerk is the delegated head of the institution for the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. mandate for corporate information management policy and implementation. responsible for the Open Data Policy and Licence, reviews open datasets to ensure privacy protection and data quality and develops training and awareness materials. The Chief Information Officer is the technology enabler and information security expert. technology team posts datasets, sustains & invests in the site technology & leads developer community engagement. Information Management complements Information Technology . City divisions - dataset stewards, identify open-ready datasets, describe the datasets, confirm dataset quality, approve readiness to publish and sustain the open datasets. Every dataset is documented and authorized by Clerk's, IT and the business steward   OPEN GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE Strategic oversight for the Open Data program is provided by the Open Government Committee , chaired by the City Clerk, with senior staff from across the City. We have a strong Open Data partnership, broad governance oversight, growing support across City Divisions and an active community presence.
  • replacing the Terms with an Open Data Policy and Licence. City Clerk’s Office developed the Open Data policy , a municipal first. communicates the City’s commitment to openning up reliable, quality data that can be trusted because we have safeguarded personal privacy and copyright. adopts international Sunlight Foundation Open Data principles that guide the data quality check that we perform on every dataset. Data Approval template The City owns the data or has permission to publish it for unrestricted use.   There is no confidential information, intellectual property or personal identifiers in the data. The dataset steward Division works with us to validate the data accuracy and quality
  • Open Data Licence governs the free and unencumbered use of the raw datasets for personal or commercial gain and with few or no restrictions. protects the City from unintended consequences of the data use. For example, a charge of patent infringment against a developer can not be extended to the City as provider of the data. The Licence is patterned on the best practices British Columbia licence and United Kingdom licence. The City added definitions for clarity. G8 Summit in Ireland, the federal government announced an Open Government Licence. City of Toronto is completing its review of the licence now. We are encouraged because the licence is materially similar to our existing licence.
  • posting Open Datasets is just one of several channels that the City uses to open up government information. 5,000 Freedom of Information requests a year. post information on the web or have their staff routinely release information directly to the requester without going through the Freedom of Information processFOI requests dropped by about 50%. other means to open up information- first Canadian municipality to provide online details of Councillor Office Expenses. 100,000 visits a year. Publishing content on the web or building map-based, searchable databases is what we call ‘Open Information’. Open Data as another, complementary, way to open up government. Councillor Office Expenses are posted as Open Information and as an Open Dataset. pattern in Freedom of Information requests, we ask the information steward City Division to post open dataset. Would Freedom of Information Requests volumes might decline because we were offering multiple channels to access the same information? No the more information and data we make available, the more the public wants.
  • The Open Data site posts raw data also points to the complementary City website information so the public can see the City’s interpretation of the data. Municipal Licencing and Standards investigation actvity data. -- links to the City’s interpretation of the same data: this searchable, map-based application. Yes, open data users may create interpretations that compete or conflict with the City view. -- part of openness and participatory democracy. T-date, no open dataset has posed a significant risk to the City. So far we have only seen the benefits.
  • Open Data ‘catalog’ or inventory. False expectations about Open Data. Expect to view something readable, understandable raw data of a single Municipal Licencing & Standards investigation activity. data feeds the City application on the previous slide. The raw licencing data is barely readable. Multiple that with thousands of investigations in the file -- the raw format is definitely not easy to understand and the data volume make it unwieldy for an individual analyze. raw datasets might not seem accessible or transparent from an ‘Open Government’ point of view. From the outset: wondered how useful would Open Data be to the general public? What kind of applications and analyses would be created to benefit the public? one example.
  • The City of Toronto site: Casino Consultation: Open Data is helping to transform traditional relationships between the bureaucracy and the public. The Toronto Casino public consultation example reflects this new Open Government maturity level in Open Data. The public is defining what information is relevant and meaningful for them and to determine how to engage with government. And City Divisions now are starting to plan for openness. The Casino example illustrates how staff planned to engage the public through multiple channels like social media and Open Data.
  • survey to consult with the public on the casino issue. A raw dataset of the survey responses was posted in a timely manner, together with dataset descriptions. The open dataset had to adhere to City policies, anti-discrimination, human rights and privacy laws and had to protect the City from legal liability.
  • City of Toronto Open Data on Twitter: @Open_TO The consultation data was posted openly to engage the public without trying to predict or steer the outcomes. Staff engaged on social media, offering a correction to a community member’s interpretation of the consultation data
  • Within hours of posting the raw data, an academic from the Martin Prosperity Institute announced she had developed a simple, powerful mapview of the consultation results Maps are a powerful way to provide access to information and to support participatory democracy.
  • Today we have 122 raw datasets on the Open Data portal and we are aware of over 25 applications using this public data.   How do we mature the Open Data program ?  
  • Balancing openness and protecting personal information is a matter of public trust. As public servants, we must uphold this trust. Changing the municipal culture so that openness is just a way of doing business is the biggest challenge for Open Data. Francis Maude, the United Kingdom Minister of Cabinet Office, made this comment about Open Data, “ There’s nothing fluffy about transparency. It’s hard-edged and demanding and serious… You have to mean it, you have to stick with it and when it gets uncomfortable you have to go through with it. Once it starts you can’t turn back.” City of Toronto is committed to Open Data as a way to open up government. Trish now will outline how that commitment is benefiting the public and how we engage with the open data community to benefit the City of Toronto.
  • City of Toronto: Openness in Government: An Open Data Journey: Part 1

    1. 1. Openness in Government: An Open Data Journey Nancy Isozaki Trish Garner Ontario Connections Toronto Conference June 19, 2013
    2. 2. Agenda – City of Toronto • Open Government • Information Management Framework • Open Data • Moving Forward Internally • Working with the Community • Technology Enabling Openness
    3. 3. ParticipationTransparency Accountable Accessibility Open Government Principles
    4. 4. ParticipationTransparency Accountable Accessibility Open Government Principles
    5. 5. Information Management Accountability Policy Open Data Policy
    6. 6. Open Data Governance - Collaboration • Open Data Champions • Open Government Committee
    7. 7. Open Data Governance - Policy • Policy • Data Quality Accountability
    8. 8. Open Data Governance - Licence • Toronto licence patterned on BC, UK • Federal, pan-Canadian ‘Open Government Licence’ –Simpler for open data users –Final version available a month ago –Announced at G8 Summit –Completing review: internal & G4
    9. 9. <InNum>12 277397 PRS 00 IV</InNum> <InType>Order Issued Property Standards</InType> <InDate>Nov 1, 2012</InDate> <NoticeDate>Nov 14, 2012</NoticeDate> <NextInDate /> <ExpiryDate>N/A</ExpiryDate> <Issue>Order Issued Property Standards / Order to Comply</Issue> <Status>Closed</Status> - <Addresses> - <Address> <AddrLine>99 SCARLETT RD</AddrLine> <House>99</House> <Street>SCARLETT</Street> <Type>RD</Type> <Direction /> </Address> </Addresses> - <Deficiencies> - <Deficiency> <Location>Rear</Location> <Desc>The tree, plant, limb or branch, which is located on the property is dead and has not been removed or otherwise pruned to remove the dead portion.**See City of Toronto Arborist Report**</Desc> <Status>Closed</Status>
    10. 10. Open Data Journey - Moving Forward OPEN the culture • Internal: Senior Mgt, business data stewards • External: Public sector collaboration, & community engagement PLAN for openness • Access by Design, Privacy by Design • Systemic processes: Strategies, RFPs, capital business cases, business architecture… INNOVATE: technologies enabling openness • Open platforms & Big data
    11. 11. Open Government A city in which all are fully engaged in an open & accessible local government
    12. 12. Contact us Open Government, Info. Mgt, Open Data Nancy Isozaki (Corp. Info. Mgt. Serv., City Clerk’s Office) 416 397 0736 Open Data Trish Garner (Information & Technology Division) 416 392 7797 Rob Candy (Corp. Info. Mgt. Serv., City Clerk’s Office) 416 392 9674 @Open_TO