Sioux Falls, SD

Administrative Policy (Nov 29, 2017)

View original policy (PDF)

Sunlight provided assistance with the development of this policy.

This city is part of the What Works Cities program.




City of Sioux Falls

Open Data Program

I. Objective and Scope

To provide guidelines to the City of Sioux Falls departments and City employees in the collection and distribution of city data. This program applies to all city departments, employees and third parties that may work on behalf of the City.

The Central Services Department shall oversee and enforce this program.

II. Definitions

Data or Data Sets – a value or set of values that that provide statistical, geographical or other information. Data becomes information when analyzed and possibly combined with other data in order to extract meaning and provide context.

Open Data – data made public and provided in a convenient form. It should be collected in an alphanumeric form reflected in a list, table, graph, chart or similar form that can be digitally transmitted or processed. The data should be regularly maintained and include metadata if available. Data should be made available in Machine Readable and digitally accessible formats, but shall not include Protected Data (defined below).

Open Data Portal – data is published and available for public consumption through the open data portal which is accessed through the City’s website.

Publishable Data - Data or Data Sets that are not Protected Data or otherwise sensitive information and that have been prepared for release on the open data web portal.

Protected Data means any Data or Data Set:

  1. That contains a significant amount of Data or Data Sets and where the disclosure of such Data would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the City; or
  2. That reflects the internal deliberative or administrative processes of the City, including but not limited to, Data and Data Sets relating to negotiating positions, future procurements or pending or reasonably anticipated legal or administrative proceedings; or
  3. That is subject to privacy laws, student records laws, copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret protection, a confidentiality agreement, an attorney/client privileged communication or otherwise protected by law or contract; or
  4. That includes or constitutes proprietary applications, computer code, software, operating systems or similar materials; or
  5. That includes or constitutes employment records, protected health information, internal employee-related directories or lists, facilities data, information technology or internal service-desk data of the City; or
  6. That if disclosed by the City, might raise privacy, confidentiality or security concerns or jeopardize, or have the potential to jeopardize, public health, safety or welfare; or
  7. That is otherwise exempt from disclosure pursuant to South Dakota Laws, including but not limited to the South Dakota Open Records Act.

III. Policy Goals

Departments are encouraged to provide open data through the City’s portal to achieve the following policy goals:

  1. Increase transparency, access, and accountability;
  2. Enhance data coordination and efficiencies internally and externally;
  3. Create a public data access through a single portal to promote the ability to obtain, aggregate, analyze, and optimize data;
  4. Promote a higher level of civic engagement through a more informed community; and
  5. Proactively publishing frequent sought information.

While engaging these program goals, the City will recognize and protect the privacy, confidentiality, public safety and security of data in accordance with federal, state and local laws.

IV. Public Data Access

The Central Services Department provides and manages the website portal where Open Data and Data Sets are made accessible to the public. Compliance with Information Security and web office standards will be consistently followed.

Open Data and Data Sets may be accessible to external search capabilities.

Any user of Open Data or Data Sets distributed by the City may use such Open Data or Data Sets without charge.

Open Data or Data Sets will be accessible without the use of a user account or password.

In the event that data is published or presented, data users will be encouraged to use the clear, easy-to-use citation included in each dataset. Data will be presented in open formats according to best practices and in bulk when appropriate to maximize technical access to open data for varied uses.

V. Open Data Committee

An Open Data Committee will be administered and facilitated by the Central Services Department which will work with the City’s departments and agencies to:

  1. Identify a lead Open Data coordinator for each City department who will be responsible for managing that department’s participation in the Open Data Program;
  2. Oversee a comprehensive inventory of Data Sets held by each City department that are published to the Open Data portal;
  3. Determine what data may be relevant to the public and City staff. Assist in prioritizing the release of Data or Data Sets to the Open Data portal. The committee will take into consideration new and existing signals of interest from the public and City staff (such as the frequency and type of open records requests), the City’s programmatic priorities, and cost;
  4. Oversee processes to ensure that Data and Data Sets reviewed for use-appropriate formats, quality, timeliness and exclusion of protected and sensitive information;
  5. Determine how the data will be processed and prepared for publishing;
  6. Incorporate electronic data entry into daily operations for more efficient data gathering; and
  7. Manage a routinely updated, public timeline for new Data and Data Set publication.

In order to increase and improve use of the City’s Open Data and Data Sets, the Open Data Committee will actively encourage department and public participation by providing regular opportunities for feedback and collaboration.

The City will provide an Open Data Report to the public a year after the open data policy begins. The report will reflect on the City’s progress in meeting the goals of the Open Data Program.

VI. Data Availability

For the purpose of identifying which Data or Data Sets should be made accessible as Open Data, the City may consider whether the information in the Data or Data Set:

  1. Releases Data or Data Sets frequently requested by the public or City departments; or
  2. Improves public knowledge of the City’s operations and furthers its priorities; or
  3. Increases City accountability, efficiency, responsiveness or delivery of services.

Data or Data Sets shall be updated in a reasonable manner, using automated processes to update Data when possible, and to preserve the integrity and usefulness of the Data or Data Sets.

VII. Open Data Program

The Open Data Program defines processes, tracks measureable goals, and oversees data quality.

The requirements of the Open Data Program apply to all City departments, commissions, boards, and advisory committees.

The City of Sioux Falls will develop and implement practices that allow it to:

  1. Proactively release data, making it readily available in open formats, with no restrictions on lawful, noncommercial use or reuse, and fully accessible, at no cost, to the broadest range of users.
  2. Add and maintain data in the Open Data portal which provides a central location for published City Data and Data Sets with metadata as available.
  3. Educate and encourage use of the City’s Publishable Data by agencies, the public and other partners.

VIII. Open Data Legalities

Data or Data Sets made available on the website are provided for informational purposes only. The City does not warrant the completeness, accuracy, content or fitness for any particular purpose or use of any Data or Data Set made accessible on the website, nor are any warranties to be implied or inferred with respect to any such Data or Data Sets.

The City shall not be liable for any deficiencies in the completeness, accuracy, content or fitness for any particular purpose or use of any Data or Data Set, or application utilizing any such Data or Data Set, provided by the City or anyone fulfilling open data activities for the City.

This Program shall not create any private rights, or any private right of action to enforce its provisions. Failure to comply with this Open Data Program shall not result in any liability on the part of the City or its employees.

No user shall have intellectual property rights or proprietary interests in Open Data or Data Sets, including without limitation, any written materials, logos, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, patent applications, patents, know- how, trade secrets or moral rights. No use of Open Data or Data Sets shall be deemed to constitute a partnership or joint venture between the user and the City, or between the City and anyone fulfilling open data activities for the City.

The City will make every effort to provide the data using leading industry standards. However, the City is unable to provide individual technical support after the data is downloaded.

Nothing in this Open Data Program shall be deemed to prohibit the City from voluntarily disclosing information not otherwise defined in section II as “Data” or “Data Sets,” including, when appropriate, narrative in machine readable text, as long as it is not Protected Data.



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