Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

One More Week, Three More Things

My time as the City of Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer is coming to an end.

It’s been an incredible experience – I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great team, and to have helped change the way that government officials think about open data and civic hacking. Before I move on to new things, however, I have a few more items I want to move into the “Done” column.

I’ve got one more week and three more things I want to get done.

Integrating with

One of the things we’ve had on our radar for a while is getting the City of Philadelphia’s open data sets from listed in the Cities community in the federal site. Currently, is running an outdated version of the Open Data Catalog software – which has integration built in – but a simple Node.js script and the OpenDataPhilly API make it pretty simple to generate the required metadata file for listing our data sets there.

The metadata for our data now validates, and I’m hopeful that listings from will appear in this week – making it the first time listings from a community-managed site are listed in the national site for open data.

Data on Professional Services Contracts

For the past several months, we’ve been working with the Chief Integrity Officer to open up data on professional services contracts from city departments. Currently, information on professional services contracts is difficult to find, and is provided only in PDF format.

An enormous amount of work has gone into generating comprehensive documentation for professional services contract data, as well as providing the data in a more usable format (as well as providing historical data going back several quarters). This work is close to being finished and I’m hopeful it will be launched in a few days.

Data on Lobbyist Registrations

In addition, we’ve been working with the Board of Ethics as they implement a new lobbyist management system – this new system will allow individuals that act as lobbyist to register with the city and also submit their activity reports.

As part of this process, the Board of Ethics was gracious enough to allow us to consult on how open data could be integrated into their new system. They’ve been great to work with, and they recently rolled the first phase of this new system, which allows lobbyists to register – it also includes functionality which allows all registration information to be downloaded in CSV format.

We’re working now to push out some comprehensive documentation for the lobbyist registration information CSV data – we hope to get this out before the end of the week.

Time is short, but there’s still lots to do.

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About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.

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