Open Data Policy Collection

San Leandro, CA

Administrative Policy (Oct 2, 2017)

View original policy (PDF)

City of San Leandro

Administrative Policy

2017 - 03

Guidelines for Publishing Open Data

Effective: October 2, 2017

The following administrative policy shall be applicable to all City employees, contract workers and volunteers.


To provide guidance to City employees (Users) on publishing City data for public usage. This policy is based on a template provided by the Sunlight Foundation at:


A. “Data” means statistical, factual, quantitative, or qualitative information that is maintained or created by or on behalf of the City.

B. “Open data” means data that is available online, in an open format, with no legal encumbrances on use or reuse, and is available for all to access and download in full without fees. “Legal encumbrance” includes, but is not limited to, federal copyright protections and other, non-statutory legal limitations on how or under what conditions a dataset may be used. This definition is also inclusive of any software source code made available online (“open source software”).

C. “Open format” means any widely accepted, nonproprietary, platform-independent, machine-readable data format, which permits automated processing of such data and facilitates analysis and search capabilities.

D. “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.

E. “Protected data” means any dataset or portion thereof to which an agency may deny access pursuant to the California Public Records Act or any other law or rule or regulation.

F. “Sensitive data” means any data which, if published by the City online, could raise privacy, confidentiality or security concerns or have the potential to jeopardize public health, safety or welfare. This includes, but is not limited to, personally identifiable information such as names, birth dates, social security numbers, driver’s licenses, business licenses, physical and email addresses, health records, landline and cell phone numbers, etc. It also includes confidential and/or proprietary business information, such as intellectual property, private market research, sales data, internal costs, strategic planning, and more.

G. “Public data” means data which is not protected data or sensitive data and which has been prepared to be published for public consumption.


It is the general policy of the City of San Leandro to consider public information to be open by default and proactively publish public data, consistent with relevant law, in structured standardized machine readable formats. Access to public data: promotes a higher level of civic engagement; increases transparency; enhances coordination and efficiencies among departments, partner organizations and residents; and encourages the local technology community to develop applications and tools to collect, organize, and share public records in new and innovative ways. The protection of privacy, confidentiality and security will be maintained as a paramount priority while also advancing the City’s transparency and accountability through open data.

A. Open Data Program

The City commits to developing and implementing practices that will allow it to:

  1. Proactively release publishable City data, making it freely available in useful formats, using an open license with no restrictions on use or reuse, and fully accessible to the broadest range of users to use for varying purposes;
  2. Publish high quality, updated data with documentation (metadata), when available;
  3. Provide or support access to free, historical archives of City data;
  4. Measure the effectiveness of datasets made available through the Open Data Program by connecting open data efforts to the City Council’s goals;
  5. Support innovative uses of the City’s publishable data by external agencies, the public, and other partners. The development and implementation of these practices shall be overseen by the Information Technology Division and shall apply to any City department, division, commission, board, advisory committee or other office of City government, including the records of third party agency contractors that create or acquire information, records, or data on behalf of the City.

B. Governance

Implementation of the Open Data Program will be overseen by the Information Technology Division, which will work with the City’s departments and the public, as needed, to:

  1. Oversee the creation of an inventory of datasets to publish to the central open data location, while relying upon the City’s existing data classification matrix to determine protected data, sensitive data, and public data (see Section E. Data Storage Usage, AP-1010 Electronic Media Policy);
  2. Identify datasets that will have the greatest benefit to residents if published;
  3. Establish processes for publishing datasets to the central open data location, including processes for ensuring that datasets are, to the fullest extent possible, high quality, regularly updated, use appropriate formats, include metadata, and exclude protected data and sensitive data;
  4. Make recommendations for historical document inclusion; It is expected that this implementation will occur over time, as opportunities to publish new City data are discovered. At any point, the City may decide to put its Open Data program on hold, due to staffing, budget, time, or other resource constraints.

C. Central Online Location for Published Data

The City will create and maintain a publicly available location accessible via the City’s website where published data will be available for review and/or download. Each published dataset may include a file layout or data dictionary, when available, that provides information about field labels and values. The central online location shall be managed by the Information Technology Division and will include aggregated links to both internally and externally hosted websites, pages, and web applications. Whenever possible, the Information Technology Division will proactively include such links in the central online location, which may include data from other City departments, boards and commissions, etc.

D. Ongoing Open Data Review

Periodically, the Information Technology Division will review progress towards achievement of the goals of the City’s Open Data Program and may provide an assessment of how the City’s open data work has furthered or will further the City Council’s goals. During the review period, the Information Technology Division, with support from the City Manager’s Office, may make suggestions for improving the City’s open data management processes in order to ensure that the City continues to move towards the achievement of the policy’s goals.

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