On November 27, 2013, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 53, CD2, FD1 – Relating to Open Data in law. It now becomes Ordinance 13-39 going into effect immediately. This process that started in August was quite different from what happens in the State Legislature. In some ways it is much simpler although monitoring the status of your bill and testimony on the City Council site could use much improvement.
Bill 53 went from it’s first reading in the full Council meeting in August, then was heard in the Public Safety & Economic Development Committee, Chaired by CM Carol Fukunaga, the Bill’s sponsor. It then went to a second full Council hearing, back to the PSED committee and then to a final hearing at the third full Council. After passing the full Council with 9 ayes and 0 nays, the bill goes to the Mayor’s desk for approval or disapproval. He has 10 business days to complete this process.
Now the work to liberate data starts. I was encouraged to see Mark Wong, CIO of the City, support the passage of Bill 53. When I spoke to him this week he asked, now that the bill is signed, what datasets does the community want to see? So the call is out but how do we place our requests? I looked at data.honolulu.gov and the Suggest a Dataset tab is now missing. You can backdoor it by going to this link.
Another opportunity will come on Monday, Dec 9th when Mayor Caldwell holds his Twitter Townhall. On that date the Mayor’s public schedule has:
- Noon to 1 p.m. – Twitter Town Hall. Participants can tweet questions to @MayorKirkHNL and Mayor Caldwell and his Cabinet members will answer as many as possible.
If you are interested I will send out a reminder on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can also sign up for the HOD newsletter. Now with both the State and the City with their respective laws in place, Act 263 and Ordinance 13-39, 2014 is looking to be a very busy year.
Back on August 7, 2013 Bill 53 (2013): Relating to Open Data, got introduced by CM Carol Fukunaga at a full Council meeting. It got subsequently heard on August 20th in the Public Safety and Economic Development Committee.
Bill 53 CD1 then moved on to a second reading in the full Council on Sept. 11, 2013 and successfully passed. The amended change brought the establishment of procedures in from 2 years to one year.
On Oct. 29, 2013, CD2 passed through the PSED committee. The CD2 amendment had introduced a timeframe of 180 days for policies to be completed. it also introduced a Chief Information Officer in the Legislative Branch of the City Council. At this latest hearing, I was able to suggest amendments to the bill to 1) remove “of minimal public interest” and 2) rename the legislative branch lead to be called the Chief Data Officer. These changes should appear in Bill 53 CD3. At the time of this writing there was no online version of CD2. In an odd timing of publishing bill information, the CD2 modifications did not make it into the agenda for Oct. 29th. The agenda shows CD1. But at the PSED Committee reading they handed out hardcopies.
The next full Council meeting is on Nov 13th where CD3 is planned to be heard. Once Bill 53 passes through this final reading it then goes to the Mayor for signing. As soon as CD3 gets posted I will share the link. Thanks to all who have submitted testimony. We are almost there.
On July 3, 2013, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a measure to enhance government transparency and accountability in Hawaii through increasing public awareness and access to open data.
House Bill (HB) 632, relating to open data, now becomes Act 263. It requires the State’s Executive Branch departments to make electronic data sets available to the public.
“Here is an example of how ONE excellent idea, turned into ONE bill, which resulted in ONE significant policy change,” says Senator Glenn Wakai, Chairman of the Technology and Arts Committee, “If we are going to reinvent government, step ONE is Open Data. Having data available to the public will lead to a more responsive and more accountable government.”
Open data has been a top initiative of the State’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Sonny Bhagowalia. In August of 2012 the State launched its open data site, data.hawaii.gov, with data sets being voluntarily provided by departments and agencies. The site incorporates data that is readily available in digital format and commonly requested by the public. The intent of this measure is to continue and ensure the open data efforts of the CIO in the multi-year, multi-phased program open data initiative.
The CIO, in consultation with the Office of Information Practices, will develop policies and procedures to implement the open data program initiative.
On June 1, 2013, Honolulu participated in the National Day of Civic Hacking with its own Hack to the Future. Our event was attended by more than 80 people, which I might add was capped at 60. The day was designed to be an overview of applications and tools the community build around government open data from sites like data.honolulu.gov and data.hawaii.gov. It also consisted of presentations from government representatives from both the City and State.
The agenda consisted of:
- Burt Lum – Welcome comments
- Sen Glenn Wakai – Intro to Open Data Bill (HB632)
Open Data Tools
- Patrick Kelly – Infrastructure crowdsourcing
- Joe Heaukulani – Google Fusion Table
- Ben Trevino – Visualizations, D3
- Kyle Oba – App dev tools
- Royce Jones – Mapping
- Lindsea Kemp – GovLab update
- Mark Wong – City Dept of IT
- Colin Kippen – Homelessness
- Cathy Ross – Public Safety
- Dorreann Kaehuaea – Environmental Svc.
- Brandon Au – Urban Forestry
- David Kho – Health Data
- Kristin Izumi-Nitao – Campaign Spending
Notes from the day are captured on the Hack to the Future Hackpad. One of the objectives for the event was to brainstorm ideas and to initiate team formation around potential projects. Several interesting projects include, infrastructure data collection, open tree mapping, neighborhood board project management tool, campaign spending data dive, homelessness icon design challenge and a neighbor island open data initiative. If you have any additional ideas, feel free to add them to the hackpad document.
Thanks to everyone who came and participated in Hack to the Future. Special thanks to Code for America Brigade, Kathryn Higa and Interisland Terminal & R&D for hosting us. Here is coverage we got from KITV.
There are a couple of events I would like to bring to your attention. First off, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 is the Governance Futures Lab. It’s a two day event being sponsored by The Institute for the Future (Palo Alto, CA).
The global event is organized to bring a world-class cohort of critical thinkers together at the IFTF headquarters on April 26th to diagnose our current and future problems in systems of governance. The end product of this work will be the a series of design briefs outlining the problems and parameters for a number of critical issues in government and social policy.
On April 27th, these design briefs will be distributed to teams around the world. Teams of designers, creatives, engineers, architects, political scientists, and futurists will be stationed at global nodes in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, New York, Birmingham, San Francisco, and Honolulu. These design team will spend the greater part of April 27th imagineering and creatively problem solving the contents of these design briefs; presenting models, policies, constitutional preambles, info-graphics, and other “artifacts” of the design process. These artifacts and presentations will be shared collectively with all of the Governance Futures Lab participants and will lay the foundation work for a new wave of rethinking governance for our futures. Your participation is welcome.
On June 1, 2013 Hawaii is participating in National Day of Civic Hacking by holding its own Hack to the Future. Join the Code for Hawaii Brigade on this day of civic demos, code expo and updates on civic hacks. We will use this day to plan the remainder of 2013 and brainstorm projects to infuse government with community based innovation. Civic engagement is taking hold in our community so let’s focus on what we can accomplish in City and State government over the coming months.
National Day of Civic Hacking is an event when citizens from around the country will work together with local, state and federal governments as well as private sector organizations with the common goal of improving their community through technology. It’s a national initiative to promote transparency, participation and collaboration between governments, companies and citizens.
HB632 HD2 crossed a major milestone today and passed a joint hearing of the TEC/JDL committees with small amendments from the Hawaii Bankers Association (see testimony). Also an appropriation amount of $100K was inserted in the section as requested by the Office of Information Practices. TEC is Chaired by Sen Glenn Wakai and JDL is Chaired by Sen Clayton Hee.
The list of submitted testimony in Support was impressive and included: Office of Information Management and Technology, Office of Information Practices, Hawaii Open Data, Common Cause: Carmille Lim, League of Women Voters: Janet Mason, Lindsea Kemp-Wilbur, Todd J. Robertson, Ryan Ozawa, Vanessa Michelou, Michael Casey, Forest Frizzell, Misa Maruyama, Tara DeWitt Coomans, Benjamin Trevino, Wynnie Hee, Cathy Ross, David Kho, Don Kosak, Jason Axelson, Javier Mendez-Alverez, Kyle Sleppy, Tory Abraham, Peter Kay and Mark Nakagawa.
Thanks to everyone who submitted testimony and joined us in person at the hearing. It was a strong showing support.
The next stop is Way and Means committee (WAM) Chaired by Sen. David Ige. I will keep you posted when that is scheduled. Again, Big Mahalos to all your continued support.
I should have known that marshaling a bill through legislation involved some politics. As an update, SB448 SD1 died in the Senate. It was re-referred to a joint committee if JDL/WAM and never got scheduled.
On the House side, HB632 HD2 passed through the FIN committee and crossed over to the Senate. This House bill is referred to TEC/JDL and WAM on March 5th. I had high hopes that by now I would be writing to let you know when and where to send your testimony. Unfortunately, the bill is not yet schedule for a hearing and we are deathly close to the cutoff date.
Where the politics come in is both Chairs of TEC and JDL need to agree upon a joint hearing of their respective committees. For some reason, unbeknownst to me that agreement is not happening. I have a meeting with Sen. Clayton Hee this Thursday, March 21st and will give you an update on his perspective on the bill. Sen Glenn Wakai is in full support as he introduced the original Senate version SB448.
As you can imagine this part of bill process is the most frustrating. There a many people telling me what I could-a, should-a, would-a done and as it looks now, I may have that chance next year if this bill does not get out of the Senate. In the meantime, I am spending quite a bit of time walking the halls of the Capitol talking to anyone that will listen to me. If I can break the log jam (or not) will keep you posted.
The good news is that both bills in the Senate (SB448) and House (HB632) are still alive. SB448 was heard by the TEC committee. As a result of that hearing there were numerous amendments added to the bill language. If you compare SB448 with SB448 SD1, the modifications include clarification of what open data is. It is data that is already deemed public. There was concern that in the original language it could be interpreted to mean all data. “Open data is not data that is governed by privacy, security, or any pre-existing legal protection.”
Another change is replacing rule making with policy. My understanding is the rule making process is a long and complex one. Rule making does mean that processes and procedures are codified which on the surface sounds like a good thing, but could also be perceived to be forcing this down everyone’s throat. We did have this discussion in the JUD on the House side with Chair Rep Karl Rhoads. We all agreed that changing it to policy would give OIMT the opportunity to develop it in collaboration with other agencies. Much less of a hammer. This language made it into the House version and the Senate.
Another change was the inclusion of appropriation language. It was a recognition that managing open data will require additional people. We agreed that the Office of Information Practices would have more requests to help determine if a dataset was public or not. With the added appropriation language the bill needed to go to the financial committee. It was originally to go to JDL, but now had to go to both JDL and WAM. In this case the bill had to be “re-referred” to JDL/WAM. This has not been schedule yet and we are calling JDL Chair Clayton Hee’s office to encourage them to hear the bill. As the lead committee Sen Hee can choose to hear the bill or not. WAM Chair David Ige told me they could hear the bill with JDL & WAM but JDL needs to schedule the bill first.
On the House side HB632 got modified and was heard in the CPC committee Chaired by Rep Angus McKelvey, then the JUD committee Chaired by Rep Karl Rhoads. We successfully passed through both committees where most of the discussions and changes took place. The third committee hearing, as a result of the appropriation language is FIN Chaired by Rep. Sylvia Luke. I was just notified tonight (2/22) that HB632 HD2 will get heard on Mon. 2/25. This is very encouraging and means the bill has a good chance of getting through the House and making it to crossover, where the bill goes to the Senate. Similarly if the bill makes it through the Senate, it will crossover to the House.
So for now the important date to remember is Monday 2/25 to get testimony of support into the FIN committee. In my opinion the House bill HB632 HD2 is well written and I wouldn’t change anything. In the Senate version SB448 SD1, I would remove the reference to “alpha” and “alpha testing” for Data.Hawaii.Gov. This site is in production already and it is not necessary to refer to it as alpha which implies pre-beta and the software is pre-release version.
Submit your testimony here for HB632 HD2 and I thank you in advance.
The first draft of HB632 HD1 Relating to Open Data is now online for your review. It better defines what open data is and which datasets are considered under this open data bill. The schedule for rule making is set for July 1, 2015 to give time for the process. There is also added language for an appropriation for headcount and $$ requested by the Office of Information Practices. Thanks to Rep. Angus McKelvey and his staff for drafting the bill and helping to get this through their CPC committee. Next stop, the JUD committee. And after that it still needs to go to the House FIN committee. If the bill survives then it crosses over to the Senate. It’s a long road but at least we are still alive.
We are in the new 2013 legislative session and there are a number of bills we are following. Two in particular are the open data bills, SB448 and HB632. The Senate version SB448, is being introduced by Sen. Glenn Wakai, Chair of the Technology and the Arts (TEC) Committee. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Clift Tsuji is introducing the HB632 bill. He is Chair of the Economic Development and Business (EDB) Committee.
Once the bills get introduced, they get schedule for hearings by the appropriate committees. On the Senate side SB448 got referred to the TEC and JDL committee. It has since been scheduled to be heard by the TEC committee on Feb 5, 2013. It has yet to be scheduled for the JDL.
On the House side, HB632 was referred to the Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) Committee and the Judiciary Committee (JUD). HB632 got scheduled to be heard on Wed. Jan 30, 2013 and is yet to be scheduled to be heard by the JUD committee.
The amazing thing is the CPC Committee is hearing 28 bills on Jan 30th. HB632 is number 19 on the list. For anyone interested in testifying in person you need to devote a lot of time to wait for the legislators to wade through all the bills on the table. It’s not for the feint of heart. Luckily you can also submit testimony online which is conveniently enabled on each of the bill pages. But testifying in person is quite an experience.
To be perfectly honest, just writing this post has helped me understand the intricacies of getting a bill introduced to the legislative process. As an open data wonk I am interested in this process but I am an admitted novice and we are only at the very beginning. I hope the bill gets through the initial hearings. No matter how much you believe in a bill, there is no guarantee it will ever get the to the Governor’s desk. That is the long road and I hope to bring you impression of the journey here.