OPEN DATA BILL SIGNED INTO LAW

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 in What's New

The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) is pleased to announce that Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Open Data legislation into law on July 3, 2013. The final version of House Bill 632 is now Act 263, effective July 1, 2013.

As OIP originally reported on May 1, 2013, the Open Data law will provide greater public access by encouraging state executive branch departments to electronically publish and regularly update public information online. The law requires each executive branch department to “use reasonable efforts to make appropriate and existing electronic data sets maintained by the department electronically available to the public through the State’s open data portal at data.hawai.gov.”

State, county, and federal agencies have already begun loading open data onto the following websites: data.hawaii.gov, data.honolulu.gov, and data.gov. The new law encourages state agencies to make existing non-confidential data sets freely available online and to continually update them, in order to enhance government transparency and accountability, encourage public engagement, and stimulate innovation with the development of new analyses or applications based on the public data sets. An early example of how open data works is DaBus app, which is based on public data and provides real-time information tracking the location of Oahu buses and when they can be expected to arrive at bus stops.

The new law does not require the agencies to create new data sets nor does it affect whether or not government records must be disclosed under the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), HRS Chapter 92F. Consistent with the UIPA, OIP will assist the Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) in developing policies and procedures to determine which data sets are appropriate for online disclosure. OIP will also advise the agencies on their responsibilities under Act 263 and the UIPA. Fortunately, a new full-time position has been authorized by Act 263 to provide OIP with additional resources to fulfill its increased duties.

For the latest on open government news, check for these archived copies of What’s New articles that are posted here, or e-mailed upon request. To be added to OIP’s e-mail list, please e-mail oip@hawaii.gov.