Civic News

What you need to know about Gov. Markell’s open data executive order

The new Data Governance Council will be busy this year.

Gov. Jack Markell at the open data executive order signing ceremony.

(Photo by Chris A. Williams)

Gov. Jack Markell surprised (and pleased) members of Delaware’s open data community when he signed Executive Order 57 on Wednesday.
Now we’ve got the deets about what exactly the order entails, and what Delawareans can expect in coming months.
At the most basic level, the order is a creation of the Data Governance Council. The main task of the council is to put together a strategy for collecting “non-personally-identifiable public data” from the state executive branch’s 16 agencies, organizing that data and making it accessible on an online portal.
Meanwhile, the state’s Department of Technology and Information is working with the Delaware Government Information Center to actually build the portal.
Back to the Data Governance Council, which, the order says, will also encourage non-executive branch groups — elected constitutional officers, counties, municipalities and the state government’s legislative and judicial branches — to share datasets. The council will be made up of at least 10 people, including:

  • James Collins, the State Chief Information Officer. (He’ll be the chairman of the council.)
  • Rita Landgraf, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services.
  • Ann Visalli, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Jeffrey Bullock, the Secretary of the Delaware Department of State.
  • David Small, the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
  • Carla Benson-Green, the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
  • Jennifer Cohan, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
  • Steven Godowsky, the Secretary of the Department of Education.
  • Mike Mahaffie, the Director of the Delaware Government Information Center.
  • A representative of the Governor’s office, who will be appointed by Gov. Markell.
  • Anyone else Markell decides to appoint.

And here’s the timeline:


  • By May 26, all executive branch agencies must submit a list of public datasets to Collins.
  • By July 31, the council will publish a public report of its progress.
  • By Sept. 30, the council will publish its final “Strategic Plan for Statewide Integration of Open Data.”
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