Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Crunch Time for Open Missouri

by Administrator November 18th, 2010

By David Herzog

These next few months will be busy here in Open Missouri-land. Mizzou J-School master’s students who are working on the project will be stepping up their efforts to collect inventories of databases held offline by state government agencies. How’s that going, you ask? It depends on the agency. Some, such as the Missouri Ethics Commission, have happily told us about the public data they collect. So give them a gold star for openness; the commission clearly gets its obligation to the public. Gold stars go to the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources; both of them provided detailed information in the spring, during a pre-Open Missouri pilot run. Other agencies say they’re working on compiling the information. We’re learning that many agencies lack internal inventories of their databases and need to create them for us….Finally, some agencies have flat-out told us they’re not going to divulge information about the data they collect using taxpayer money. I’ll provide a detailed scorecard later.

All of the information we collect will go into the Open Missouri website, which we hope to start developing within the next month. We’re going to work closely with our friends at the Sunlight Foundation and use code from their National Data Catalog.

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(Read the full post at the Reynolds Journalism Institute blog, here.)

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