Chief Data Officer Proposed for California

State Sen. Richard Pan is hoping to overhaul California’s open data portal and create a new executive role to lead the effort.

by Matt Williams / March 3, 2015

Legislation from Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, on Feb. 26 would task the governor with naming a chief data officer no later than Jan. 1, 2016, and require at least 150 data sets to be published on the statewide open data portal by 2017.

The bill also would mandate the development of a statewide open data roadmap and phase in a series of annual benchmarks for the amount of data published online. By 2022, all data inventoried by a state agency would have to be published on the portal. Each agency would have to hire a “data coordinator” to help fulfill the new requirements.

The chief data officer would report to the secretary of the Government Operations Agency.

In 2009, California became one of the first states to launch an open data portal. The current iteration,, aggregates results from several data portals that agencies and departments have launched themselves, as well as the state of California geoportal of GIS data.

An increasing number of localities and states have appointed chief data officers, according to a June 2014 Government Technology report. “CDOs,” as they’re called, are now in Colorado, Texas, New Jersey and Utah.

Typically a chief data officer sets data retention, sharing and publication policies, and engages the civic hacking community and internal staff to use the data to drive innovation.

This story was originally published by TechWire

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