Open Data Policy Approved Following Sunshine Week
(Fayetteville, N.C.) — The City of Fayetteville has gone through great efforts to provide transparent and accountable public records tools to the general public and the City Council’s approval of an Open Data Policy at their Monday, March 18 regular meeting is further proof of their open data commitment. While the City always strives to be open and transparent, the Open Data Policy was fittingly approved following Sunshine Week, which is an annual media-driven week-long campaign that encourages the openness and transparency of government agencies.
The Open Data Resolution directs the City Manager to establish an open data program and a supporting open data policy. Some portions of the resolution of note include that City staff will provide an online location accessible to the public for the open data and data policies to reside, create a publically accessible and comprehensive list of all open data information holdings and provide an annual update to Council on the Open Data Program.
“In Fayetteville and statewide, local governments have made great strides over the last few years to be more transparent and accountable to citizens about their operations, budgets and records. This Council resolution shows our elected officials’ commitment to be completely open and honest with those we serve,” said City Manager Doug Hewett.
In addition to the City’s new Open Data Policy, the City, off its main landing page at www.FayettevilleNC.gov, launched the Transparency & Accountability webpage last summer. On that webpage, citizens can review financial reports, the City’s Budget Chronicles webpage, City data on the Fayetteville TRACStat and Open Data Portal webpages and open government information, as well as make public record requests through the City’s Next Request portal. Residents can access the Next Request public records request portal at www.fayettevillenc.gov/opencity.
“This webpage is intended to make public records and information about City of Fayetteville operations more accessible to citizens,” said Kevin Arata, City Communications Director. “In today’s high-tech society, people have come to expect everything is available at their fingertips, and the more information we can post online in a manageable and digestible format, the better we can meet those expectations. The Transparency and Accountability webpage already contains a large amount of information that residents can easily access. The next step is to figure out how City staff can ensure their Open Data Policy meets citizens’ needs, and that the information we are posting is the type of information citizens are seeking.”
Citizens are encouraged to review the City’s draft Open Data Policy, located at www.FayettevilleNC.gov/draftpolicy, and provide any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Citizens are also asked to review the information already posted on the Transparency and Accountability webpage and provide feedback on other types of data they would like to see made available in the future. This will help staff determine how to improve upon the current site to better meet citizen needs. That information can also be sent to email@example.com. Citizens are asked to provide feedback no later than April 15.