Was Governor’s “Email Retention” Summit An April Fools Joke?

Credit the governor with successfully changing the channel away from the pummeling he was getting for his dreadful email deletion policy, and onto the budget and his feeble new ethics rules.  But now it’s April 1,  and in a March 16th letter to the legislature, attorney general and comptroller the governor pledged to “convene the first meeting on (email and FOIL)  in the next two weeks.” Two weeks would have been by March 30th. Yes, given the budget, it was an impossible promise to keep,  but what is the status of this “transparency summit,” and why does the governor feel compelled to make promises like this he cannot possibly keep? In the meantime, the email shredders keep shredding away 24-7,  and government transparency and accountability are going backwards.





Innovation? Former Philly Open Data Chief Hates Open Data Portals

Mark Headd, the former Chief Data Officer of Philadelphia, wrote a provocative blog post about open portals, titled “I HATE OPEN DATA PORTALS” (caps original). He has four main complaints. First, no government is actually using the data it provides. If the government can simply publish data without any regard for its accuracy, the accuracy and usability of the data is bound to suffer. Second, open data portals all offer far too many superfluous features for Headd’s liking; portals should focus on providing access to data, not providing web-based statistical modeling packages which are useless for meaningful data analysis. Third, Headd finds the real-time availability of data wanting. Fourth, he expounds on the importance of revision history for data sets.