There is a lot to like in NYC DOITT’s Request for Services for a new New York City’s current 311 system. Unfortunately, only a handful of people were allowed to see the RFS, which was provided by DOITT to a select group of journalists and pre-approved NYC vendors. We read about the RFS in Miranda Neubauer’s May 11, 2015 piece in Capital. In the piece, DOITT Commissioner Anne Roest said she did not publish the document online, saying she wanted “To not cause confusion in the vendor community.” We hope Commissioner Roest and City Hall rethink this position and recall that the most fundamental tenant of the Freedom of Information Law — and a bedrock of open government — is that government records are open by default. In 2015, “open by default” means published online where everyone can see them and download them. We appreciate DOITT providing us with a copy of the RFS after we requested it as co-chair of the NYC Transparency Working Group and we hope that going forward they automatically put procurement and other key documents online unless those documents would be excluded from disclosure under FOIL by privacy or security concerns.
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