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This article from CivSource caught my eye – and thanks to a friend’s twitter stream, and the serendipity of social media for even finding this source, on a day when it was a top discussion in disparate meetings. Some days, it all comes together.

Open Data

Open Data

Open Data comes before Public Engagement – at least in my opinion. Any level of government that is seeking public input to a decision process must start by providing ALL information on the subject, and then [openly] seeking answers to questions provided through that feedback: something discussed in a previous blog post. These are Gov 2.0 principles, and being dutifully ignored by the City of Victoria staff (and yes – I will take the hit for that comment). Bring it on gang –

Where the City of Victoria is going through a public engagement process, without an open information policy, and going forward with an Official Community Plan, the future of the Johnson Street Bridge, public safety and street issues – along with the city and region dealing with sewage – compare that with Toronto. The ‘Big Smoke’ is way beyond the simple principle of open info – they are into ensuring the Open Info provision is sustainable.

This quote is definative…

“[Open data] can’t be a one-time thing, or it starts to have a ‘legacy’ mindset. It isn’t like that, it’s an ongoing process…you have to build it in because the public now expects it.”

The problem for the City of Victoria on issues like the Johnson Street Bridge, the Official Community Plan, Sewage – or frankly, Victoria’s website, is that they do not connect on a common policy for public engagement, and within a single municipal government.

The final quote from the article…

“Open data shouldn’t be a giant make-work project, but part of what you do everyday. We’re excited to continue it forward.”

I would like to see to City of Victoria have a poster plastered all over town with that…

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