Posted on Jul 24, 2014 in Featured, What's New

The Office of Information Practices (OIP) is inviting the public to be part of the State’s open data effort and improve people’s access to government records.  OIP’s Record Request Log has already begun providing valuable insight into how well state agencies are complying with the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) and OIP has created a preliminary report, including charts and graphs, of the results for the first six months of FY 2014.  By August 31, 2014, all state agencies will be reporting their entire year’s results for FY 2014, and OIP will prepare a year-end report.  In conjunction with the year-end report, OIP would like the help of the public to develop web apps that will visualize the data and can be placed on data.hawaii.gov, where people can create their own customized charts and graphs of the UIPA Record Request Log data.

To illustrate, OIP’s preliminary report, found at https://oip.hawaii.gov/reports/ and previously reported in the March 19, 2014 What’s New article, summarizes the data reported by all State agencies, the Judiciary, and the University of Hawaii for formal record requests made between July 1 and December 31, 2013.  Among other things, the report showed that nearly 99% of 3,414 requests were completed, and that it took an average of 8.03 workdays to complete.  The reporting agencies spent 2,484 hours and incurred gross fees and costs of $33,678 to respond.  Because only $14,155 in net fees and costs could properly be charged to requesters under OIP’s 1998 administrative rules and because requesters also received fee waivers in 85% of completed cases or may have abandoned or withdrawn their requests, requesters ultimately paid only $2,534, or 7.5% of the $33,678 incurred by agencies in gross fees and costs.  While the charts and graphs visualizing this and other raw data in the preliminary report were prepared by OIP, and it is possible to create additional charts, graphs, and other visualizations using the tools already provided for data.hawaii.gov, OIP would welcome ready-made web apps that streamline the process so anyone can pull up the figures for a specific agency and quickly generate charts, graphs, and other visualizations using the Log data.  With ready-made web apps, anyone could easily create visualizations of data they are most interested in, such as data for a specific agency, data to compare an agency’s performance to the State’s averages, or topical data showing agencies’ gross incurred versus net chargeable costs and what was actually paid by requesters.

As an example of what can be done, the state Campaign Spending Commission has a web app on data.hawaii.gov, which allows the public to make sense of candidates’ revenue and expenditure reports by creating pie charts, graphs, and other visualizations to show the sources of candidates’ revenues, what percentages are coming from individuals versus other donors, how much is coming from in-state versus out-of-state, and what percentage of donations are $1,000 or less versus more than $1,000.  By simply identifying the candidate and clicking on the type of data you want visualize, this app will create customized charts and graphs.

If you are an app developer and can volunteer your time and talent to helping OIP develop web apps for the UIPA Record Request Log, please e-mail [email protected].