June 13, 2013

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo releases provisional open data guidelines to increase transparency among state agencies

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo releases provisional open data guidelines to increase transparency among state agencies
Source: Office of the Governor

On June 13, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released provisional open data guidelines for state agencies and public authorities to participate in Open.ny.gov. New York is the first state in the nation to publish its provisional open data guidelines* and seek public comment on GitHub, an open source platform that allows for open collaboration and sharing. Public comment is open until September 1, 2013.

Governor Cuomo said. “This transparency website is a coordinated effort by all of state government, so today’s provisional open data guidelines will provide direction to state agencies and authorities on how to catalogue and share their data on Open.ny.gov. I encourage New Yorkers to submit their comments as we work to build a new level of openness in government.”

On March 11, 2013, the Governor issued Executive Order 95** along with launching Open.ny.gov. The Executive Order directed state agencies, for the first time, to review and catalogue data they collect, and take steps to make public data available on Open.ny.gov in accordance with guidelines developed by the NYS Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).

These guidelines are designed for use by both covered state entities and other government entities not covered by Executive Order 95 including localities. The guidelines will help with identifying, reviewing, and prioritizing state data for publication. The Executive Order directs ITS to encourage public input and finalize the guidelines in the coming months.

Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government, said, “The use of Github represents a first among the fifty states, and will serve as the equivalent of a chat room open to the world. It will enable thoughtful and creative people to make contributions and communicate in a manner that can only improve the operation of government.”

Open.ny.gov is a comprehensive state data transparency website that provides user-friendly, one-stop access to open data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. "Open data" refers to data that is free from restrictions and can be released in a format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and searched by commonly used web search applications. Open.ny.gov provides "open data" access and transparency to the wealth of information collected and maintained by the state and local governments. It allows researchers, citizens, business, and the tech community direct, centralized access to high-value government data to search, explore, download, and share. 

 * The Provisional Open Data Handbook is posted on the Internet at:

** Executive Order 95 is posted on the Internet at: http://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorder/95