Governor Cuomo’s “Open NY” Campaign Pledge

October 12, 2011

As attorney general, Andrew Cuomo created the cutting edge Project Sunlight. This powerful website tracks political and lobbying expenditures and state contracts.  As a candidate for governor, Cuomo proposed harnessing the Information Revolution for the public benefit with “Open NY.”  We like Open NY a lot, and would like to see Governor Cuomo launch it now. Open NY is a smart, and inexpensive, packaging of everyday technology — websites, mobile computing, social media —- with a new commitment to open information, that has the potential to vastly increase the state’s transparency, accountability and responsiveness.  Open NY takes tools and policies that many states and the federal government are already using, and combines them into a more powerful and effective whole. We especially like Open NY because  it promises a host of potential public benefits beyond open government.  Government digital information is like nuggets of gold buried within a mountain. These nuggets have  enormous potential value to job creating businesses, researchers, the general public — and people in  government who can’t see or use data held by other agencies. Open NY promises to unearth that digital treasure and put it to use. It also seeks to make it easier for government to make state services easier to use and cheaper,  and provide the public with up to date notices they need. The exciting thing, is that Open NY is easily doable.  It uses Information Technology that the people of New York use everyday.  It’s time our government joins us in the Information Age.  It’s time for Governor Cuomo to launch Open NY.

Excerpts from Open NY

Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Up Albany campaign book, Chapter 5, Open NY

Open NY will use the Internet to make New York State government more transparent and accountable than it has ever been before.

Open Information
Open NY will make government information available via a central website, which will serve as an information catalog and clearinghouse in an easily accessible format. Additionally, we will strive to create a network of Open NY websites for each State agency and authority controlled by the Executive.

These websites will contain a downloadable catalog of the agency’s data, and include a powerful search feature. These Open NY “agency” websites will have a simple, uniform design, and focus solely on the open information and transparency initiatives in Open NY. They will augment, not replace, current agency sites.

Open NY will use the power of the Internet to promote a new era in transparency and openness in the New York State government. We will open up the State budget and show how State agencies are spending their tax dollars. We want the public to know how, and how well, the State is spending taxpayer dollars. For example, online contracts with State vendors will be placed on Open NY. Once Open NY gets contracts with vendors online, information will steadily be added including agreements for all grants, tax credits and other forms of subsidy and spending.

Part of the goal is to post an online spending report card, or dashboard, which will make it clear what taxpayer funded projects are working and which are failing.  New Yorkers deserve a clear explanation of how the State taxes and spends within the State budget.

Open Collaboration

Open NY will use the Internet and social media to promote participation and collaboration, which spurs innovation and fosters public opportunities to improve government—a new kind of public participation. It is an invitation to the people of New York State to use the powerful information tools we use every day to open up our government and make it work better. Open NY will be used to reconnect people to government.

Together, we can use Open NY to make our government easier to understand, more accountable, more innovative and more cost effective. New and revamped websites will show the public how much the State is spending, how and where we are spending it, and what results that spending is achieving.

New Yorkers will be able to look online and see what policies the State is promoting, and what public agencies are doing. Open NY will use the Internet as a simple but powerful tool to transform the culture of our state government from secrecy to public openness.