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Florida Senate Committee Passes Bill to Create Chief Data Officer Position

The bill came about as a result of inconsistencies and security issues within the Agency for State Technology.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Florida's Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee voted unanimously to pass a new bill, SB 362, that would create a chief data officer position within the Agency for State Technology (AST).

The bill came about following inconsistencies and security issues within AST that ultimately led to an audit of the state agency. The audit found several ways in which AST data could potentially be compromised during the login process and through unrestricted access privileges.

Florida's bill passed the committee on the heels of another state's commitment to data; on Feb. 6, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that not only makes data transparency a requirement for all state agencies, but also codifies the chief data officer position into state law. This gives Liz Rowe, who's been in the position since March of 2015, the authority to establish procedures, standards and best practices around open data and data sets by each agency; develop a data set format standard across all agencies; and monitor and ensure compliance.

Since SB 362 made it through its first Senate panel so easily, it is now on its way to the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.

SB 362 also creates a Geographic Information Office within AST.