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Open Data and Campaign Spending

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Join us on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Iolani School, Sullivan Center for Civic*Celerator Demo Day, where we unveil each team’s projects and get feedback from the judges. We’ll learn about campaign finance and be a part of this transformation from open data to open knowledge.

We are in a campaign year and the candidates are gearing up for a crowded primary. At Civic*Celerator we try to help make sense of where the money comes from to fuel the Hawaii races. The Campaign Spending Commission collects data from each of the candidates as required by State law. This data is then published to the State’s open data portal: Data.Hawaii.Gov

Civic*Celerator brings together the talents of our civically engaged citizens and coding community to create applications, visualizations and tools to better understand this data.

We thank our good friends at Voqal, Common Cause Hawaii, HTDC along with Code for America, Campaign Spending Commission and Hawaii Open Data for making this possible.

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Bhagowalia: “It Belongs to the People of Hawaii”

Bytemarks CafeThe state Office of Information Management & Technology was featured last night on Bytemarks Cafe on Hawaii Public Radio. The accomplishments, challenges, and future vision of the OIMT were explored with Sonny Bhagowalia, the governor’s new Chief Advisor for Technology and Cyber-Security, and Keone Kali, who is succeeding Bhagowalia as the state’s Chief Information Officer.

Open data was among the many topics covered, and Luke Fretwell of GovFresh submitted a question via Twitter about NIC and the practice of governments selling public data.

Burt Lum: “Normally ‘open data’ is freely accessible to the public, but there are cases where, in Hawaii, the government is actually selling data via the Hawaii Information Consortium. So there are some datasets [like business registrations] that aren’t accessible. Is this something that will continue, and is it still open and accessible in this format?”

Sonny Bhagowalia: “As you know, my background in federal government was with the open data initiative that was started with the White House. It’s a tremendous thing that has changed the world, in my view. We encountered the same issue there. I think, first of all, there’s a lot of data to be let out — we only hit five percent, there’s 95 percent that can be brought out.

“I think there’s a lot of data that inherently, when it’s governmental. it should come out as governmental — it’s available to the public, and there you go. it has its provenance, and then you use it, and you can mash it up, analyze it, visualize it, socialize it, and mobilize it. There are some where you can add value to it and sell that, so I’m okay with that aspect of it. But I feel like eventually that all the data that’s inherently within government belongs to the people so that’s where it should be.

“I really think first of all we need to address that problem. When I said 1,144 [data sets online], it sounds impressive, but really. there’s a lot more data should come out and that should be available. It should also be lined up to some sort of business problem — look at certain things you can solve. We don’t want to do apps and innovation for that sake, it has to be innovation that helps people in their daily lives, where they can actually conduct business online or get services anywhere anytime on any device.

“I think there’s plenty of room for everybody to play in this equation but my inherent belief is government data is open, and it belongs to the people of Hawaii.”

Listen to the whole conversation here.

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ODI Hawaii

From Seoul to Osaka – Asia Pacific opens arms to open data as ODI announces five new international Nodes

2014-02-17 by The ODI

The ODI has announced five new international Nodes including the first two from the Asia Pacific region: Osaka, Seoul, Sheffield, Philadelphia and Hawaii. They will join the first raft of Nodes announced at the ODI Summit in October last year. The Nodes bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities.

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The launch of ODI Seoul builds on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between the ODI and the National Information Society Agency (NIA) of the Republic of Korea in November 2013. The MOU marked a commitment to promote closer cooperation in the area of open data.

Since the ODI Summit where the Nodes programme was announced, the ODI has had interest from across the world from organisations wanting to become a Node.

This announcement of the new Nodes coincides with a gathering of all the current ODI Nodes in London.

Richard Stirling, International Director at the ODI said:

“The open data movement continues to gain momentum across the globe – our five new Nodes are testament to this. We look forward to working alongside these new Nodes as they explore how open data can drive innovation, boost transparency and bring about social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities.”

Each Node has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration.

The creation of ODI Nodes around the world highlights how people are using the power of open to combine expertise and resources. Each Node will catalyse open data culture within their own communities and communicate open data success stories globally. City and regional Nodes will identify open data collaboration projects, and publish data relating to themselves and their work using open standards such as the ODI Open Data Certificate.

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Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs Bill 53, CD2, FD1

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.

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Bill 53: Relating to Open Data – City & County of Honolulu

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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.

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs Hawaii’s Open Data Bill into Law

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.

Additional coverage:

 

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Photos: Hack to the Future

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

Government Presentations

  • 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.

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Hack to the Future

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).

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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.

HacktotheFuture_blueOn 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.

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HB632 HD2 Crosses Major Milestone

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.

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The politics of Open Data

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.