Campaign Finance Data Challenge: accepted
Many of these issues, such as the Open Data Portal and Open Government Resolution, are discussed in our Open Government Briefing Guide.
⇒ 1. How will you encourage City departments to comply with the Open Government Resolution and place useful data on the open data portal on a timely basis?
I would instruct the city manager and department directors to outline their compliance plans and follow up on action items to improve compliance where necessary. Furthermore I would make certain the departments are provided the training and tools they need.
⇒ 2. How would you evaluate departments' compliance with the Open Government Resolution? Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card?
I would establish a requirement for quarterly reports on improvement areas. Yes.
⇒ 3. Would you support a resolution to require that any software or software services purchased by the City must be accompanied by an open data plan that indicates how public data managed by that system will be made available to the public?
Yes provided security of the database is not compromised.
⇒ 4. This past March, the City hired its first Chief Innovation Officer. What are the specific functions and initiatives you would like to see out of this office to advance the City's open government and open data efforts?
First, I would review the Innovation Officer’s assignments and job description to date, and discuss with City Council to gain their input as to the future direction of that office. So far the only briefing I attended where the above mentioned innovation officer was presenting was about the planned Innovation District. I would seek information as to the city’s current database management and protocols, and evaluate the Innovation Officer’s role. Then I’d consult council again and make any decisions based on the information derived balance with the city council’s resolutions. The mantra should be “open and transparent” government, and with financial records at the top of that list.
Website and Online Services
⇒ 5. What steps would you take to help ensure the City of Austin website provides the tools and information that citizens and community groups want?
I would encourage continual improvement and development. Linking tools such as computer based training for business owners and project managers prior to their applications for building and renovation permits; and, developing an application to facilitate inspection scheduling and notifications for project managers, inspectors and their managers would help keep projects flowing.
⇒ 6. Would you support action to create an online issue feedback/reporting system, where a citizen could report an issue with the City's website and other online properties, and track city response to that issue?
YES! Having been in the web development business, I am attuned to the processes and would take great interest in these measures.
⇒ 7. There are strong benefits to providing city information and services online. Many residents, however, experience barriers to access. (See discussion of "Digital Inclusion" in our Open Government Briefing Guide.) What do you see as the City's responsibility regarding digital inclusion, and what steps would you take to address these concerns?
I will follow through and continue developments in concert with the Austin Digital Inclusion Strategic Plan http://austintexas.gov/page/digital-inclusion-strategic-plan
Open Data Exercise: Campaign Finance Filings
The City of Austin currently posts candidate and office holder financial statements as scanned facsimiles (PDF format) of the filed, attested documents. In 2012, the City Council approved a resolution to post these filings in a searchable, digital form.
⇒ 8. What would you do to ensure this project is completed before the next municipal election?
The project seems to have been implemented from my own experience.
⇒ 9. Will you publicly post your campaign receipts and expenditures (as reported to the City on form C/OH) online, in CSV spreadsheet data format, within 30 days of filing a report with the Austin City Clerk? Where will you post it?
I will remember to post the details to my campaign website via: www.AustinBlueDog.org