Norfolk City Council has adopted a new open data policy that will serve as the foundation for an open data program.
This program will make city data more consumable and readily available to the public. The work to create the open data policy and program was completed with guidance from What Works Cities, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies. The City of Norfolk is one of only 100 U.S. cities selected to participate in the What Works City initiative, designed to help mid-sized cities improve transparency, increase efficiency and make better data-driven decisions.
A robust communications outreach plan is underway with two goals; encourage people to visit Norfolk’s website to take advantage of the data the City is opening and educate residents about how they can use open data to improve their communities and their lives.
“I’m proud of the work that our staff has done in developing an open data policy and improving our transparency,” states Norfolk Mayor Kenneth C. Alexander. “This program will not only improve staff efficiency, it is also another way we can engage our residents and allow them to share their input regarding the work we are doing in Norfolk.”
Steven DeBerry, Norfolk’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), will oversee the open data program. Additional guidance will be offered by an Open Data Advisory Committee that will include representatives from City Council, residents, the business community and higher education. The mission of the Committee, with an initial meeting planned for Fall 2017, will be to help prioritize datasets for release and develop implementation timelines. All data will be scrutinized for sensitivity and security concerns before being made public.The data will be available via a portal on the City’s website and the initial datasets are expected to be available in the Fall. There will be no fee or registration required to access the data.
“We are excited with the progress we have made and the direction we are heading,” said CIO DeBerry. “What Works Cities has assisted us in laying the groundwork for this program and I’m looking forward to implementing this program that will benefit businesses, residents and city staff.”
For more information visit Norfolk.gov/IT.