Montgomery County, MD

Legislation (Dec 17, 2012)

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Bill No. 23-12

Concerning: Administration – Open Data


AN ACT to:

  1. require the County to make certain public data sets available on a single web portal on the internet;

  2. require the County to develop a technical standards manual for publishing public data sets;

  3. require the County to develop an Open Data Implementation Plan;

  4. require the County to include on the single web portal, a website under the Maryland Public Information Act and the County’s response to that request;

  5. require the Chief Administrative Officer to report to the Council on the Executive Branch’s responses to the Maryland Public Information Act; and

  6. generally amend County law regarding administration.

By adding

Montgomery County Code

Chapter 2, Administration

Article XIV, Open Data

Sections 2-152, 2-152, 2-153, 2-154, 2-155, 2-156, 2-157, 2-158, and 2-159


The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:

Sec. 1. Article XIV (Sections 2-152, 2-152, 2-153, 2-154, 2-155, 2-156, 2‑157, 2-158, and 2-159) is added to Chapter 2 as follows:

Article XIV. Open Data.

2-152. Title.

This Article is known as the “Montgomery County Open Data Act.”

2-153. Definitions.

In this Article, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:

Agency means any department or office of the County government.

Data means the final version of digital information:

(a)

  1. in a structured, statistical, or alphanumeric form (i.e., list, table, graph, chart, or other non-narrative form) that can be digitally transmitted or processed; or

  2. in an unstructured, factual, or content form (i.e., fact sheet, memorandum, press release, compliance guidance, manual, or other narrative form) that can be digitally transmitted or processed; and

(b) regularly created or maintained by or on behalf of and owned by an agency that records a file, measurement, transaction, or final decision related to the mission of an agency.

Data does not include any information provided to an agency by another government entity; or any image file, such as a design, drawing, map, photo, or scanned copy of an original document.

Maryland Public Information Act or Act means the Maryland Public Information Act, codified at Sections 10-611 through 10-630 of the State Government Article of the Maryland Code.

Measurement means to quantify any characteristic of an observable event, occurrence, or object by comparison to a reference standard.

Open Data Implementation Plan means a plan developed by the Chief Administrative Officer to implement this Article and as further described in Section ### 2-158.

Open standard means a technical standard developed and maintained by a voluntary consensus standards body that is available to the public without royalty or fee.

Public data set means data identified as eligible for publication by the Open Data Implementation Plan. Public data set does not include any portion of a data set that is not subject to disclosure under any Federal or State law, including the Maryland Public Information Act.

Technical standard means:

(a) the common and repeated use of a rule, condition, guideline, or characteristic for any product or related process and production method, and related management systems practice; and

(b)

  1. the definition of a term;

  2. classification of a component;

  3. delineation of a procedure;

  4. specification of dimension, material, performance, design, or operation;

  5. measurement of quality and quantity in describing any material, process, product, system, service, or practice;

  6. test method and sampling procedure; or

  7. description of fit and measurement of size or strength.

Transaction means any interaction between an agency and any person related to the mission of an agency.

Voluntary consensus standards body means a domestic or international organization that develops and maintains a technical standard that uses a transparent deliberative process, permits the participation of any party, and achieves general consensus, although not necessarily unanimity, of the participating parties, including a process to attempt to resolve any difference in viewpoint.

2-154. Public data set availability.

(a) The County must make some public data sets available on a single web portal on the Internet within 1 year after this Article takes effect. Every agency must make at least one public data set available to be published on a single web portal within the timeframe prescribed by the Open Data Implementation Plan. The Open Data Implementation Plan must assign and prioritize by subcategories the order in which public data sets should be published. To prioritize public data sets in the Open Data Implementation Plan, the Chief Administrative Officer must consider whether information embodied in the public data set:

  1. can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness;

  2. improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations;

  3. furthers the mission of the agency;

  4. creates economic opportunity; or

  5. responds to a need or demand identified by public consultation.

(b) Any published public data set that an agency makes available on the Internet must be accessible through a single web portal that is linked to www.montgomerycountymd.gov or any successor website maintained by, or on behalf of, the County.

(c) A public data set must be made available as specified in technical standards .

(d) A public data set must be published in a format that permits automated processing and must make use of appropriate technology to notify the public of all updates.

(e) Once published, a public data set must be updated as often as is required by the Open Data Implementation Plan.

(f) A published public data set must be made available without any registration or license requirement or restriction on use. However, the County may require a third party providing to the public any public data set, or application utilizing that data set, to explicitly identify the source and version of the public data set and describe any modification made to that data set. In this Section, registration or license requirement or restriction does not include any measure required to:

  1. assure access to a public data set;

  2. protect the single web site housing a public data set from unlawful abuse or an attempt to damage or impair use of the web site; or

  3. analyze the type of data being used to improve service delivery.

(g) A published public data set must be accessible to external search capabilities.

(h) Nothing in this Article prohibits an agency from: 1. voluntarily disclosing information not otherwise defined as data; or 2. making voluntarily disclosed information accessible through the single web portal.

(i) The Open Data Implementation Plan must address when and how an agency may change or terminate collection of data or remove the public data set from public access.

(j) The Open Data Implementation Plan must address appropriate staffing to manage the published public data sets.

2-155. Web portal administration.

(a) The Open Data Implementation Plan must address measures to maintain bandwidth availability of the web portal.

(b) The County must conspicuously publish the open data policy in Section 2-156 on the web portal.

(c) The County must implement a mechanism to solicit public feedback and encourage public discussion on open data policies and public data set availability on the web portal.

(d) An agency must consider any request that it receives through the public feedback mechanism to include a particular public data set when making any determination as to priority for public data set inclusion on the single web portal. An agency’s consideration of such a request must defer to the priority assigned to publication by the Open Data Implementation Plan.

2-156. Open data policy.

(a) A public data set made available on the web portal is provided for informational purposes. The County makes no express or implied warranty as to the completeness, accuracy, content, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of any public data set made available on the web portal.

(b) The County is not liable for any deficiency in the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of any public data set, or application utilizing the data set, provided by any third party.

(c) This Article and the Open Data Implementation Plan do not create a private right of action to enforce their provisions. Failure to comply with this Article or the Open Data Implementation Plan must not result in liability to the County.

2-157. Internet data set policy and technical standards.

(a) Within 180 days after this Article takes effect, the County must prepare and publish a technical standards manual for the publishing of a public data set in raw or unprocessed form through a single web portal by an agency to make public data available to the greatest number of users and for the greatest number of applications. The manual:

  1. must use open standards for web publishing and e-government, whenever practicable;

  2. must identify the reason why each technical standard was selected and to which types of data it applies;

  3. may recommend or require that data be published in more than one technical standard; and

  4. must include a plan to adopt or utilize a web application programming interface that permits application programs to request and receive public data sets directly from the web portal.

(b) The County must update the manual as necessary.

(c) The County must consult with appropriate voluntary consensus standards bodies and, when participation is feasible, in the public interest, and is compatible with agency and departmental missions, authorities, and priorities, participate with such bodies in the development of technical and open standards.

2-158. Open Data Implementation Plan.

(a) Within 18 months after this Article takes effect, the Chief Administrative Officer must issue, via Method 2. regulation, an Open Data Implementation Plan . The Plan must:

  1. include a summary description of a public data set under the control of each agency on or after this Article takes effect;

  2. prioritize the public data sets for inclusion on the single web portal on or before December 31, 2018, under the standards adopted by the County under Section 2-157; and

  3. create a timeline for their inclusion on the single web portal

<span class=”g-prioritization”>(b) If a public data set cannot be made available on the single web portal on or before December </span>31, 2018, the Open Data Implementation Plan must state the reason why the set cannot be made available, and, to the extent practicable, the date by which the agency in possession of the public data set believes that it will be available on the single web portal.

(c) No later than July 15, 2015, and every July 15 thereafter, the Chief Administrative Officer must submit to the Executive and Council, and post on the web portal, a report on the Open Data Implementation Plan until all public data sets to be published have been made available through a single web portal as required by this Article. The report must explain:

  1. the specific measures taken to make a public data set available on the single web portal since the previous report;

  2. any specific measure that will be taken before the next report;

  3. whether the list of public data sets, outlined in the Open Data Implementation Plan should be updated;

  4. whether the prioritization of public data sets in the Open Data Implementation Plan should be changed; and

  5. whether the timeline outlined in the Open Data Implementation Plan for the inclusion of a public data set on the single web portal, should be changed.

(d) If a previously unidentified public data set cannot be made available on the single web portal on or before December 31, 2018, the report must explain why it cannot and, to the extent practicable, specify the date by which the agency in possession of the public data set believes that the public data set will be available on the single web portal.

2-159. Public Information Act Responses.

(a) Definitions. In this Section, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:

County means Montgomery County and includes any Executive Branch department or office and any Legislative Branch office.

Legislative Branch office means any office identified in Section 1A‑203 (b), the Board of Appeals, and the Merit System Protection Board.

Information request means a request for documents submitted to the County under the Maryland Public Information Act.

(b) The Chief Administrative Officer must identify in the Open Data Implementation Plan what data elements and a schedule to make available on the web portal for information relating to the implementation of the Maryland Public Information Act by the County .

(c) The Legislative Branch must post all data elements, as identified by the Open Data Implementation Plan, on the same single web portal used by the Executive Branch.

(d) The Chief Administrative Officer’s report required by Section 2-158 must include an update on implementation of this Section.



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