Local Government Open Data Hearing: Implementing SB 272
October 6, 2016
The Senate Subcommittee on Modernizing Government will hold an informational hearing tomorrow highlighting a recent bill with major impacts to local agencies. SB 272 (Hertzberg), signed by Governor Brown last year, requires local agencies to create a catalog of enterprise systems and post it on the agency’s website. The catalog must include current system vendor, system purpose, description of categories or types of data, which department serves as primary custodian, and how frequently data is collected and updated.
There is an exemption for sensitive data that would allow the local agency to instead provide a system name, brief title, or identifier of the system instead of the full listing, if the public interest served by not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest served by disclosure. CSAC worked diligently with stakeholders, sponsors and the author to minimize the effects on counties by the major administrative burdens created by SB 272 and as a result, major amendments were taken to the legislation prior to its approval by the Governor. That being said, the bill has created much confusion for public agencies due to lack of standardized definitions and intent.
Regardless of those ongoing problems, SB 272 required the systems catalog to be completed and posted by July 1, 2016, and additionally requires the catalog to be updated on an annual basis in future years.
The hearing will feature Mike Pettit, Chief Information Officer for Ventura County, who will speak to how counties have complied with this new requirement and any issues encountered with implementation as well as illustrate the need for advocates for access to open government to work with local government associations to achieve the end result that is best for the public. Other speakers will include a range of other local government representatives as well as groups focused on open data.