JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Commitment to open data and cybersecurity alike must start at the very top, panelists told the more than 330 people who attended Government Technology's Missouri Digital Government Summit on June 13 — a viewpoint that Gov. Eric Greitens affirmed as the event began.

In opening remarks, Greitens said the state wants to “open up data so that the citizens of Missouri can see what we’re doing and so they can hold us accountable.”

“We want to put citizens first. And we want to work backward from the citizen experience and figure out how we can build platforms for technology, opportunities for them to access data,” he continued. “If we do that in the right way, put the citizens first, give them the opportunity to interact with us, then we’re going to have done our job."

Officials had come from around the state to Jefferson City, the capital, to learn about everything from the role of artificial intelligence in information technology to cloud migration to dual-factor authentication.

Brad DePriest, network systems manager for the city of St. Louis, told Government Technology that the governor’s words resonated with him, noting he and his colleagues had been discussing how to better use public meeting minutes and agendas to answer Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests before they happen.

“We’re all in favor of that,” DePriest said of making it easier for citizens to access public data, following a session on the Missouri Sunshine Law. “We see that as a very valuable thing and we’re trying to help some of our departments do a better job of that.”