PDC Open Data Program
The PDC Washington Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) Open Data Program is a collaborative effort of the public and the PDC to ensure that transparency and public access are at the forefront of the Agency's mission.
The origin of Washington's disclosure law can be traced to the efforts of concerned citizens who came together in 1970 believing that the public had the right to know about the financing of political activity in Washington. The public's right to know of the financing of political campaigns and lobbying and the financial affairs of elected officials and candidates far outweighs any right that these matters remain secret and private. Mindful of the right of individuals to privacy and of the desirability of the efficient administration of government, full access to information concerning the conduct of government on every level must be assured as a fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society. In addition, monitoring efforts of concerned citizens, special interest groups, media and the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) assures compliance with the law. The PDC has a long history of making data freely available online. Making that information available in a machine readable, standardized format can further improve public access and accountability by enabling those same concerned citizens, special interest groups and the media to analyze, filter and republish data in new and innovative ways. The opportunities for civic engagement are continuously evolving and the PDC will respond through ongoing stakeholder involvement and iterative improvements to its open data systems. By making this process open and collaborative, the PDC and the public will have transparent access to not only the data, but to the process that makes that data available.
- The public has a mechanism for easily determining what data assets are available and how to access them.
- All data assets are documented sufficiently so that a member of the general public can understand what the data elements are and how they link back to the individual source records where applicable. All metadata describe the temporal range of the data and frequency of updates.
- The public has a mechanism for providing ongoing feedback regarding data access and availability.
- The public has open access to agency plans, prioritization and progress regarding data access and availability.
- The public is actively solicited for involvement in any major projects that would increase, decrease, or modify the availability of public data.
- The PDC is regularly evaluating public feedback for the purpose of prioritizing major work to evolve and improve data access.
- Open data priorities established through this open public engagement are evaluated as part of all major projects, including business processes and other changes that are not technical but might impact data access and availability.
- Minor work, feature enhancements, and corrections will be considered for ongoing maintenance work rather than requiring a major project.
- The PDC is continuously evolving its methodology and ideology regarding Open Data in a way that responds to changing public needs and expectations.
- The PDC is compliant with Washington State OCIO policy 187 regarding Open Data planning.
The PDC completed phase 1 of its [Next Generation Data Access] (https://www.pdc.wa.gov/engage/next-generation-data-access-project) project in March 2017. This stakeholder directed project resulted in publishing 5 million records to the Washington State Open Data Portal and the development of an agency open data catalog.
The PDC maintains a comprehensive open data catalog on the [agency web site] (https://www.pdc.wa.gov). Search for Open Data.
The open data catalog will serve as the principal repository of available data under the philosophy that any data that are of substantial public interest are properly served by making them available through open formats, even when other mechanisms are provided.
The agency data catalog contains full metadata for each data set.
The PDC maintains a public facing issue queue to document requests for enhancements or needed corrections. The issue queue is linked directly from the data catalog and the Open Data Program definition so that the public can easily access it.
The public and PDC staff may review, comment and open requests for new data sets, corrections or feature enhancements directly through the issue queue.
The public facing issue queue will be regularly updated to reflect the current state of related projects and prioritization activities.
The Agency Executive Management team has responsibility for prioritization and regular evaluation of the Open Data Program. The team will evaluate the program at least annually and publicly document the review, findings, and outcomes.
PDC staff will regularly evaluate the issue queue and determine which issues or requests are candidates for regular maintenance work or bug fixes that can be applied in conjunction with other planned work.
How to get involved
[Give us feedback and suggestions] (https://gitlab.com/wapdc/OpenData-Program/wikis/how-to-get-involved) by opening a new issue or adding to an existing issue.