Memphis mayor proposes new open data policy

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he wants “to take our transparency to a new level” with a new open data policy.

Through the end of October, the mayor’s office is asking for feedback on the draft policy.

Here is an excerpt:


Jim Strickland, mayor of Memphis

I. Purpose

The City of Memphis is committed to expanding the data it makes available to the public and providing the tools for understanding and interpretation of the data. To realize this commitment, this Open Data Policy sets forth the principles for the Memphis Open Data Program and establishes the Data Governance Committee. The Data Governance Committee will develop policies, procedures and standards for implementation of the Open Data Policy, including a means by which to determine the Data or Data Sets that are appropriate for public disclosure and a timeline for program implementation.

II. Goals of Open Data Program

The Open Data Program Policy is being adopted to use technology to promote more transparency and accessibility to:

A. Increase the ability of residents to monitor and measure the City’s goals and results as well as to hold the City of Memphis government accountable.

B. Expand the ability of the City of Memphis to use data to improve core city functions.

C. Broaden the number of opportunities for the City of Memphis to collaborate with individuals as well as public, non-profit, academic and private sector groups to address the needs of the community.


V. Stakeholder Engagement

The OPM and the Data Governance Committee, working with other City divisions and partners, shall:

(1) Create regular opportunities for members of the public, City employees and other individuals acting on the City’s behalf, and other stakeholders to work collaboratively on recommendations for how the City should provide and use data, as well as how the City can use the directives in this Policy to develop, deliver, monitor and measure the success of its Open Data Program.

(2) Implement a mechanism or mechanisms to solicit public feedback and encourage discussion on policies and public data datasets available on the open data portal.

(3) Consider requests received through such mechanisms when prioritizing data or datasets for release, and incorporate these recommendations into the annual Open Data plan.

So far, there are 8 comments on the form, including one suggesting publishing the council agenda dataset ahed of time to make it “commentable” before a meeting as a new way to gather public feedback.

What do you think?