Campaign Finance Data Challenge: declined
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?
We have to make open government and open data a standardized and systemic part of the City’s operations. Staff should begin projects with the assumption that the data collected and relied upon will be made available through the open data portal.
⇒ 2. How would you evaluate departments' compliance with the Open Government Resolution? Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card?
Yes, I would support the creation of a quarterly report card, and I would make implementation with the Open Government Resolution and Directive a consideration during the annual budget process and during the City Manager’s performance review. In addition to the quarterly report cards, I would seek an annual audit of the implementation.
⇒ 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?
⇒ 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?
I would like to see the Chief Innovation Officer responsible for ensuring that each of the City’s Departments is pursuing efforts to implement the open government and open data efforts. The Chief Innovation Officer should regularly assess the open government and open data efforts pursued by our peer cities around the world for lessons and initiatives that may benefit our open government and open data efforts.
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?
Accessibility and accountability are two of the key promises of our new 10-1 system. As a primary matter, my office will be open and receptive to concerns regarding the City’s web site. It is my intention that my Council Member web page also serve as a portal for information relevant and specific to District 7, such as City projects and programs underway in the district. The Technology & Communications Commission should have as one of its primary charges an ongoing review of the City’s web site and be open to public comments on ways that the web site might be improved.
⇒ 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?
⇒ 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?
The City should be responsible for seeing that citizens have opportunities for lifelong learning with digital tools. The City’s libraries, recreation centers, and similar facilities are key resources in these efforts as is the City’s partnership with AustinFree.net and other organizations. The City should look for ways to expand and build these programs. In support of this, the City should prepare a detailed census of the need for digital inclusion in each of the City’s districts and the gap between the need and the services currently offered.
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 first challenge is to develop a form for collecting the information so that it may be presented in a searchable, digital format.
⇒ 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?
Considering the effort required to assemble the required reports, it is doubtful that I would voluntarily take the extra step and burden of reporting it in an additional format unless required to. I will explore using the TEC software in the future to see if the report can be exported. I would work with the City Clerk’s office to host and post the data.