Yee Introduces Resolution to Promote Open Data

February 05, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 10 to declare February 23 as Open Data Day in California.

Open Data refers to information that is electronically available from public entities and that is searchable and user-friendly.

“Producing a 2,000 page electronic document that cannot be searched or sorted is inadequate and almost useless,” said Yee. “For too long, many government agencies – either by choice or inertia – have been living in the Stone Age when it comes to producing public documents. SCR 10 will encourage public agencies to be more transparent and to come into the 21st century.”

Often when government agencies post electronic records online or provide electronic copies of documents in response to a public records request, the data provided is simply a scanned graphic image file that is not searchable or able to be sorted, even though the agency has the file in a searchable format. 

Yee and many open government advocates would like to see electronic documents be produced in an open source file, word processing document, spreadsheet, database, or other format in which keywords or other data fields could be easily searched using commonly used software, which is often the format internally used by the public agency.

“Not only does providing such information allow for greater accountability, it allows technology companies and experts to create computer, smart phone and tablet applications,” said Yee. “Using open data ensures good government and helps consumers.”

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Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008