Bill would require agencies to inventory ‘high-value’ data

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A bill now in its early stages would put Connecticut’s open data practices — established in an executive order — on the law books for good.

Raised SB 1031 was referred to the Committee on Government Administration and Elections on Tuesday. The bill is scheduled for public hearing Monday at 10 a.m. 

Sections 4 and 5 deal with the state’s open data practices. “Open data” is a term for proactively making information available, rather than waiting for it to be requested.

The legislation wouldn’t represent a dramatic shift as much as another step in the direction in which the state’s been moving already.

The state has been upping its open-data game since 2014 when Governor Dannel P. Malloy issued executive order 39, which established state’s online data portal at data.ct.gov. A stated purpose of this bill is to codify the provisions in that executive order.

The bill would require executive branch agencies to compile an inventory of “high-value” data sets, and have a plan for making its data public. The executive order from 2014 called for agencies to submit “initial data sets.”

The high-value data are defined as either:

  • Being “critical to the operation of an agency;”
  • Being able to “increase executive branch agency accountability and responsiveness;”
  • Improving “public knowledge of the executive branch agency and its operations;”
  • Furthering “the core mission of the executive branch agency;”
  • Creating “economic opportunity;”
  • Being “frequently requested by the public;” or
  • Responding “to a need and demand as identified by the agency through public consultation.”

The data plans would be up to each agency to devise. In addition to releasing data that’s open to the public in its current form, agencies would have to include plans for publishing data that includes private information that can be removed.

What do you think?