Mayor Nutter will sign today an Executive Order to establish an Open Data Policy for the City of Philadelphia, according to internal staff with knowledge of the effort.
The announcement comes during the second annual Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T.
The Executive Order had been long rumored and follows the more than year-long growth of a public-private coalition pushing for a clearer strategy on using data to make government more transparent and efficient.
Full disclosure: Technically Philly has been involved in these conversations, though purely to make clear the editorial objectives of this technology news site. Last fall, during and after the OpenDataRace, a project that sought public voting on desired city data, representatives of Technically Philly, GIS firm Azavea, which built OpenDataPhilly.org, and the William Penn Foundation met with new city CIO Adel Ebeid to discuss the effort on multiple occasions, sometimes with other city IT staff.
The formal signing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in the Municipal Services Building today. The details of the executive order have not been released, though internal language shared with Technically Philly described it as “a new initiative to guide the City’s release of data to increase transparency, collaboration and public access to information.”
An Executive Order is no guaranteed solution. Though it can compel new departmental goals, the workflow to support whatever it calls for also needs to be established. Last January, the City of Baltimore, for example, made a similar pledge that has been hampered by organizational limitations.