Civic News

Many city departments don’t keep data on records requests

Twelve departments out of the 29 from which AxisPhilly requested data kept records on how many requests they received, and only two departments - the Law Department and the Board of Ethics - kept track of how many requests were granted or denied, AxisPhilly reported.

City Hall during the Hack for Change kickoff. Photo by Mark Headd.

Many city departments don’t keep data on records requests known as Right to Know requests, according to an AxisPhilly report.

Twelve departments out of the 29 from which AxisPhilly requested data kept records on how many requests they received, and only two departments – the Law Department and the Board of Ethics – kept track of how many requests were granted or denied, AxisPhilly reported.

Read the whole AxisPhilly story here.

The AxisPhilly report comes on the heels of a recent Daily News article in which critics said that the Nutter administration is quick to tout its open data successes but, at the same time, denies routine records requests. In its one year wrap of open data in Philly, good government organization The Sunlight Foundation, too, pointed out the Daily News story, saying that despite the open data strides Philly has made, the city still has work to do.

“This kind of challenge is important,” the Sunlight Foundation wrote on its blog, “because open data policies are bigger than the technology they regulate — engaging non-technical communities and touching on issues related to accountability — and because it’s productive.”

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