Following is an excerpt from a piece written by Brian Gryth. Brian is the Vice-President and Director of Colorado Smart Communities. He has led Colorado’s efforts to open government data at OpenColorado, and has been a leader in the movement nationwide.
In December of 2010, I helped lead an effort to create model open government policies that any local government could adopt to institutionalize transparency, participation, and collaboration. On January 24th, 2011, this effort resulted in the publication of the Model Local Open Government Directive. The directive is designed to fill a need for open government policies that was expressed at CityCamp Colorado. At the camp, several local IT directors said they needed support from city leaders to truly achieve open government success. The directive was created to fill that need and to give these government leaders the tools they need to implement open government efforts.
In Cook County, Illinois, a community leader, a County Commissioner and the County Board President used the Local Open Government Directive as a template to create the Open Cook County Plan, which called for the release of county data.
Cook County answered the call today with the public launch of the Cook County data catalog atdata.cookcountyil.gov. This launch represents a success for both open government and, more importantly, the citizens of the second largest county in the United States. Cook County citizens now have ready access to data and information maintained by their local government. Furthermore, enterprising people can now use the data to improve their community and connect with their neighbors.
The launch is also validation of the Local Open Government Directive and the idea behind the work my colleagues and I started in December of 2010. Our goal was to create a starting point that would level the obstacles and allow local leaders to move forward with enhancing government…