Open Data Policy Collection

Riverside County, CA

Administrative Policy (Sep 21, 2015)

View original policy

Open Data Policy

Riverside County, California

Section 1. Introduction.

The County of Riverside (“County”) is committed to creating a high level of openness that builds and reinforces the public’s trust. An open data program supports this commitment by establishing a system of transparency, public participation, collaboration, and accountability that increases the public’s confidence in their government.


  1. The requirements of this Policy shall be applied to all County departments, offices, administrative units, commissions, boards, advisory committees or other divisions of the County (“agency or department”), including the records of third party agency or department contractors that create or acquire information, records, or data on behalf of a County agency or department.


  1. “Chief Data Officer” (“CDO”) means the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a Chief Data Officer designated by the Chief Information Officer, and is responsible for enterprise wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective publication that foster government transparency.

  2. “Public Information Officer” (“PIO”) is charged with the coordination of a public information program, which has been designed to keep the public informed about the operations and objectives of County government.

  3. “Open Data Coordinator” means agency or department personnel designated by an agency or department head, in coordination with the CDO as appropriate, to ensure that the information and data required to be published online is published and updated as required.

  4. “Data” means statistical, factual, quantitative, or qualitative information that is regularly maintained or created by or on behalf of a County agency or department, and controlled by such agency or department in structured formats.

  5. “Dataset” means a named Collection of related records, with the Collection containing data organized or formatted in a specific or prescribed way, often in tabular form.

  6. “Open Data Catalog” means a collection of publicly available data and datasets.

  7. “Public Information” means information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by the County of Riverside.

  8. “Protected data” means (i) any dataset or portion thereof to which an agency or department may deny access pursuant to County Ordinance or any other state or federal law, rule, or regulation; (ii) any dataSet that Contains a significant amount of data to which an agency or department may deny access, if the removal of such protected data from the dataset would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the agency or department; or (iii) any data which, if disclosed could raise privacy, confidentiality or security Concerns or jeopardize or have the potential to jeopardize public health, safety or Welfare.

Section 2. Open Data Policy.

  1. To increase accountability and transparency, promote informed public participation, and Create economic development opportunities, each County agency or department shall expand access to information by making it proactively available online and in a format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, sorted, Searched, and reused by Commonly used Software and Web search applications. Examples of open formats include HTML, XML, CSV, XLS, JSON, RDF or XHTML.

  2. Open Data Web Portal. Within 90 days from the date of this Policy, the CDO shall establish a central web portal that will serve as the source for County-wide activities related to this Open Data Policy. Each agency or department shall be responsible for ensuring that the information required to be published as a result of this policy is accessible from this Open Data Web Portal. Any dataset made accessible on the County of Riverside’s Open Data Web Portal shall:

i. Use an open format that permits automated processing of such data in a form that can be retrieved via an open application programming interface (API), downloaded, indexed, searched and reused by Commonly used Web search applications and software;

ii. Subject to legal and practical restrictions, be made available to the public without restrictions that would impede re-use of the information.

iii. Be accessible to external search capabilities.

  1. Department and Agency Open Data Publication. In coordination with the Chief Data Officer, each County department and agency shall develop a schedule for making information available to the public and updating it on a regular basis. Agencies and departments shall publish information on the Open Data Web Portal (in addition to other planned or mandated publication methods), and in an open format.

  2. Open Data Catalog. Within 1 year of the effective date of this Policy, each department and agency shall create a catalog of its public information. The catalog shall be made accessible through the Open Data Portal.

  3. Identification of Barriers, Guidance and Revisions. Within 180 days of the Effective Date of this Policy, County Counsel, in consultation with the Chief Data Officer, Chief Information Officer and County Executive Officer, shall review existing county policies to identify impediments to open government and to the use of new technologies and, where necessary, issue clarifying guidance or propose revisions to such policies, where greater openness can be promoted without damage to the County’s legal and financial interests.

  4. Public Feedback. The Open Data Portal shall include a mechanism for the public to give feedback on and assess the quality of published information, provide input about what information should be a priority for publication, and provide input on the County’s Open Data Plan.

  5. Legally Protected Information. Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to supersede existing requirements for review and clearance of information exempt from disclosure under applicable laws, regulations, Ordinances, judicial Orders or other legally binding writings.

  6. The Chief Data Officer will lead the Open Data initiatives outlined in this Policy, including working with County departments and agencies to establish standards for publication of data and the most effective means for making such data available. The CDO will report to the Chief Information Officer.

  7. The Open Data Coordinator (ODC) is a departmental or agency representative to the Chief Data Officer and works with their department or agency and the CDO to identify datasets for publication to the Open Data Portal. The Open Data Coordinator will ensure that agency or department information and data required to be published in the Open Data Portal is identified, reviewed, and appropriately approved for publication by the agency or department head, or his or her designee. The Open Data Coordinator will document and share best practices and examples of how open data is being leveraged in their department or agency.

Section 3. Effective Date:

This Policy shall be effective immediately.

Adopted by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on September 21, 2015.

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