City of Philadelphia should release salary data, says ex-chief data officer - Technical.ly Philly

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Aug. 7, 2014 9:45 am

City of Philadelphia should release salary data, says ex-chief data officer

In an op-ed written for the Sunlight Foundation, Mark Headd offers up some advice for the city's open data policy.

City Hall.

(Photo by Flickr user Marc Szarkowski, used under a Creative Commons license)

If the City of Philadelphia is looking for inspiration for its open data program, it should look no further than the School District of Philadelphia, former Chief Data Officer Mark Headd wrote in an op-ed posted on Philly.com.

The School District released data on staff salaries earlier this summer, amid significant budget troubles. The City of Philadelphia should do the same, as well as release budget data, Headd said, or risk losing ground with its open data program when Mayor Nutter leaves office.

“If governments aren’t willing to invest in releasing data that empowers others to evaluate their performance, it is much less likely that an open data program will survive the disruption of a change in administration, or the changes in the local political landscape that can so dramatically alter the face of city governments,” he wrote.

Datasets on employee salaries and expenditures have been “targeted for release for more than a year,” Headd noted.

The editorial is another public-facing move in which Headd appears to be trying to push the city’s open data program forward. Earlier this summer, he independently published data from an city study, in an effort, he said, to show the value of releasing property-tax collection data.

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