BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     AB 169

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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair

          169 (Maienschein) - As Amended April 6, 2015

          |Policy       |Local Government               |Vote:|9 - 0        |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   

          SUMMARY:  This bill requires a local agency, except a school  
          district, that voluntarily posts a public record that is  
          described as "open" on its Internet website to post the public  
          record in an open format that meets all of the following  


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             a)   Retrievable, downloadable, indexable, and electronically  
               searchable by commonly used Internet search applications.

             b)   Platform independent and machine readable.

             c)   Available to the public free of charge and without any  
               restriction that would impede the reuse or redistribution  
               of the public record.

             d)   Retains the data definitions and structure present when  
               the data was compiled.

          FISCAL EFFECT:

          1)Negligible state costs. 

          2)There are no reimbursable local mandate costs because any  
            costs incurred by local agencies would fall under Proposition  


          1)Purpose. This bill seeks to increase transparency and  
            usability of government data by establishing guidelines and  
            uniformity for local governments that choose to post "open"  
            records on their websites. According to the author, "Making  


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            local government data available online using open standards  
            will increase transparency and make operations more effective  
            and accountable to the public.  It will streamline  
            communication between government agencies, both state and  
            local, and vastly improve accessibility for the public.   
            Making the information electronically searchable will also  
            permit the public to assist in identifying efficient solutions  
            for government, create economic opportunities and promote  
            innovation and accountability at the local level."

          2)Background. In 2009, the United States Director of the Office  
            of Management and Budget issued an Open Government Directive  
            to federal government agencies.  This Directive provided  
            guidelines to public agencies responding to public requests  
            under the Freedom of Information Act and instructed federal  
            government agencies to "publish information online in an open  
            format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and  
            searched by commonly used web search applications."

            The National League of Cities in 2014 issued a report  
            entitled, "City Open Data Policies: Learning by Doing."   
            According to the report, "The White House launched its Open  
            Government Initiative in 2013, including its website,  
            thus beginning the process of making government data more  
            readily available.  In the wake of this federal initiative, in  
            partnership with communities, private companies, advocates,  
            and the technology sector, cities have begun to innovatively  
            pursue open data.  

            Several local jurisdictions in California have launched their  
            own Open Data websites or portals.  For example, the City of  


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            Los Angeles has a searchable website with information on the  
            economy, public safety, the environment, city services, city  
            budget, events and culture, parks and libraries, and  
            transportation.  About three months after the launch of Los  
            Angeles' open data site, the city appointed its first Chief of  
            Data officer.

          3)Proposition 42.  Proposition 42 was passed by voters on June  
            3, 2014, amended the state Constitution to require all local  
            governments to comply with the California Public Records Act  
            and the Ralph M. Brown Act and with any subsequent changes to  
            those Acts.  Proposition 42 also eliminated reimbursement to  
            local agencies for costs of complying with the California  
            Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act.

          4)Related Legislation. 

          a)AB 1215 (Ting), pending in this committee, creates the  
            California Open Data Act and the position of Chief Data  
            Officer, who is required to establish the California Open Data  
            Standard (standard), requires state agencies to make public  
            data available on an Internet Web portal pursuant to that  
            standard, and allows a local government to adopt that  

          b)SB 272 (Hertzberg), pending in Senate Appropriations, requires  
            local agencies, in implementing the CPRA, to create a catalog  
            of enterprise systems, make the catalog publicly available  
            upon request in the office of the clerk of the agency's  


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            legislative body, and post the catalog on the local agency's  
            Internet Web site. 

          c)SB 573 (Pan), pending in Senate Governmental Organization,  
            requires the Governor to appoint a Chief Data Officer who is  
            required to create a statewide open data portal to provide  
            public access to data sets from agencies within the state.  

          1)Previous Legislation.  SB 1002 (Yee) of 2012 would have  
            required the State Chief Information Officer to conduct a  
            study to determine the feasibility of providing electronic  
            records in an open format.  SB 1002 was vetoed by Governor  
            Brown. In his veto message he questioned the need for another  
            legislative report.

          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)