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Mayor Lee Announces City’s Open Data Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Strengthens City’s Landmark Open Data Initiatives & Promotes Greater Government Transparency, Accountability & Efficiency

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the release of a multi-year strategic plan for the City’s Open Data, another major milestone in San Francisco’s landmark Open Data initiatives. This new strategic plan creates the framework to strengthen San Francisco’s leadership in Open Data and transforms the policy itself into greater government accountability, transparency and efficiency.

“From being one of the first cities with an open data policy to pioneering new uses of open data in partnership with private companies such as Yelp and nonprofits like Code for America, this new plan takes San Francisco to the next level in increasing government transparency and efficiency,” said Mayor Lee. “Open data continues to unleash the creativity of everyday residents so they can help us improve City services that impact our everyday lives.”

The strategic plan builds on the March 2013 revisions to the Open Data legislation introduced by Mayor Lee and Board President David Chiu, calling for increased accountability in open data by creating the role of Chief Data Officer and Data Coordinators in each City department, and the November 2013 revision introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell to set deadlines to the provisions and strengthen further the City’s Open Data legislation.

“When we revised the Open Data legislation to include the role of Chief Data Officer, our goal was to spur the next phase of open data in San Francisco,” said Board President Chiu. “Our open data plan marks the arrival of that next phase and defines a path forward for increasing government transparency and efficiency by using data.”

“Opening our government data to the public will foster innovation throughout San Francisco, while also improving the quality of life for our residents and strengthening the City’s role in maintaining and growing a strong local economy,” said Supervisor Farrell. “As a leader at the Board of Supervisors in advancing open data and open government initiatives, I believe the release of our City’s new strategic open data plan cements San Francisco’s commitment as a national leader in supporting and promoting open data.”

The Open Data strategic plan calls for six core strategic goals over a three-year timeframe to broaden the focus of open data from simply publishing to making it available in a manner that fosters better use of the data. Open Data can serve as a platform to: 1) change how San Francisco uses, shares and consumes government data – both externally and internally, 2) transform data into services, and 3) foster continuous improvement in decision-making and the business of government.

“San Francisco’s open data strategy is a model for any City serious about making open data count,” said Code for America Government Partnership Manager Jack Madans.

In 2009, Mayor Gavin Newsom issued an Open Data Executive Directive requiring City departments to make all non-confidential datasets under their authority available on DataSF, the City’s one stop web site for government data. The new Open Data strategic plan demonstrates again what it means for San Francisco to be on the cutting edge of government openness and transparency by making even more data sets publicly available and making City services easier to access for our residents.

In February, Mayor Lee appointed Joy Bonaguro as the City’s first Chief Data Officer to standardize the City’s data policies across City departments and make the data more user-friendly and accessible. The Chief Data Officer also manages the Data Coordinators in each City department to develop and monitor data efforts.

“Open data is about more simply posting data sets and building mobile apps,” said Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro. “It’s also about transforming how government itself accesses and uses its own data. If we can solve our internal challenges around data use, by definition, we increase the ability of developers, community groups, non-profits and analysts to use our data.”

For more information on the Open Data strategic plan, go to: