Open Data Policy Collection

Scottsdale, AZ

Administrative Regulation (Jan 5, 2017)

View original policy (PDF)

Sunlight provided assistance with the development of this policy.


Responsible Department: Information Technology

Effective Date: 1/05/2017


Brian Biesemeyer, Acting City Manager 1/05/2017

Brad Hartig, Chief Information Officer 1/05/2017


1.1. The purpose of AR 297 is to support the city’s practice of evidence-based decision-making by establishing standard policies and procedures to implement an Open Data Program including the creation and maintenance of a Portal where the city’s Publishable Data will be publicly available online.


2.1. This AR applies to any city division, department, office or employee that creates, maintains or acquires Data on behalf of the city.

2.2. This AR shall not be construed to eliminate any rights, protections or obligations the city may have under the Arizona Public Records laws.


3.1. The city is committed to promoting openness, transparency and accountability through Open Data. This is achieved through considering Publishable Data used for decision-making as open by default and open for inspection unless a countervailing privacy, confidentiality or security interest exists. This means that Publishable Data should be presumed to be open to employee and public review.

3.2. This policy and the procedures outlined within this AR seeks to continuously move the city toward the eventual goal of proactive, timely release of Publishable Data consistent with relevant public records and other laws and beginning with Publishable Data related to identified strategic goals and City Council priorities.

3.3. The city is committed to making Publishable Data

  • 3.3.1. freely available in Open Formats,
  • 3.3.2. with no restrictions on use or reuse for non-commercial purposes, and
  • 3.3.3. fully accessible to the broadest range of users to use for varying purposes;

3.4. While advancing these objectives, the city acknowledges that the protection of privacy, confidentiality, and security will be maintained as a paramount priority.


4.1. The Information Technology Department will establish and maintain a Portal at http://data. that provides a Central location for publicly available Publishable Data;

  • 4.1.1. Quality, updated Publishable Data will have documentation about the Data (metadata) to encourage maximum use,
  • 4.1.2. The publishing and update process will be automated where possible to ensure the most current Publishable Data is available on the Portal and to reduce resource time spent in publishing to the Portal;
  • 4.1.3. Data Sets shall be made available to the public on an open license basis.An open license on a DataSet signifies unless otherwise restricted by law that there are no restrictions on copying, publishing, further distributing, modifying or using the Data for a non-commercial use.

4.2. City staff responsible for overseeing, maintaining and publishing Data and Data Sets will work to minimize limitations on the disclosure of public information while appropriately safeguarding Protected and Sensitive Data and encouraging innovative uses of Publishable Data by city staff, the public, and other partners.

4.3. Implementation of the Open Data Initiative will be overseen by the Chief Information Officer with the assistance of the Open Data Leadership Team who will work with the city’s departments to:

  • 4.3.1. Identify Open Data Coordinators who will be involved with the department’s participation in the Open Data Program;
  • 4.3.2. Oversee the development of a prioritized Data Inventory of Data Sets held by departments that can be published to the Portal;
  • 4.3.3. Develop and implement a process for determining the relative level of risk and public benefit associated with potentially Sensitive, non-Protected Data so as to make a determination about whether and how to publish it;
  • 4.3.4. Establish processes for review and approval of Publishable Data Sets to the Portal, including processes for ensuring that Data Sets are reviewed for appropriate formats, quality, timeliness, and exclusion of Protected and Sensitive Data,
  • 4.3.5. Ensure that Publishable Data Sets are available for bulk download;
  • 4.3.6. Select, develop and oversee the Portal platform that features each new DataSet publication; and
  • 4.3.7. Automate Data publishing, when possible, to ensure the most current Data is available.
  • 4.3.8. Actively encourage department and public participation through providing regular opportunities for feedback and collaboration on the Portal and applicable public meetings.

4.4 The Open Data Leadership Team is charged with developing and implementing a process for seeking public feedback on Publishable Data and prioritizing the release of Data Sets to the Portal that takes into account the City Council’s priorities, the city’s strategic goals, new and existing signals of interest from the public (such as the frequency of public records requests), the availability of similar Data Sets by other cities, and cost,

  • 4.4.1. Data Sets identified as pertinent to the City Council Priorities will be given first priority of release, followed by those that help the city proactively accommodate the most frequently requested public record requests, and those that are made commonly available by other cities.
  • 4.4.2. Processes developed through the initial release of prioritized Publishable Data will be continuously evaluated and replicated as part of an iterative process intended move the city toward to the stated goal of proactive release of all Publishable Data.

4.5 As required in Resolution No. 10548, the Open Data Leadership Team shall prepare for the City Manager an Open Data Report to be sent to the City Council.

  • 4.5.1. The report shall include an assessment of progress towards achievement of the goals of the city’s Open Data program, a list of Data Sets currently available on the Portal, and a description and publication timeline for Data Sets envisioned to be published on the Portal.
  • 4.5.2. The report shall also include a recommendation on the budget necessary to support the Open Data Program and Portal.
  • 4.5.3. During the review and reporting period, the Open Data Leadership Team shall make recommendations for improving the city’s Open Data management processes in order to ensure that the city continues to move towards the achievement of this policy’s goals.


5.1. All city employees shall follow the policies and procedures outlined in this AR.

5.2. Upper level management is responsible to ensure the overall management of this AR, including the appointment of Open Data Coordinators, within their respective divisions, departments or offices.

5.3. The Chief Information Officer or designee is responsible for coordinating the overall implementation, communication and training regarding this AR, and shall serve as the chair of the Open Data Leadership Team.

5.4. The Chief Information Officer or designee will be guided in the development and implementation of these practices by the Open Data Leadership Team, the composition of which shall be approved by the City Manager, and shall be advisory to the City Manager.


6.1 Open Data Coordinators shall receive training concerning this AR and specific division, department or office policies and procedures, appropriate to their assigned duties.

6.2. This AR will be reviewed as needed, but no less frequently than every three years.


7.1。 “Data” means statistical, factual, quantitative, or qualitative information that is created, maintained or in the possession of a city division, department, office or employee.

7.2. “Data Inventory” means a prioritized listing of available Data Sets by Data Source, including information regarding availability, format, and ability to publish each Data Set.

7.3. “Data Set” means a named Collection of related records, with the collection containing Data organized or formatted in a specific or prescribed way.

7.4. “Data Source” means the primary location of any Data stored or accessed for any business purpose. DataSources can include databases, spreadsheets, or hardcoded Data.

7.5. “Open Data” means Publishable Data that is available online, in an Open Format, with minimal legal encumbrances on use or reuse.

7.6. “Open Data Coordinator” means an employee responsible for maintaining and updating Publishable Data.

7.7. “Open Data Leadership Team” means the team formed for the purpose of guiding the development and administration of the city’s Open Data Program and Portal, including approving Publishable Data to the Open Data Portal.

7.8. “Open Format” means any widely accepted, nonproprietary, platformindependent, machine-readable method for formatting Data that permits automated processing of such Data and facilitates search capabilities.

7.9. “Portal” means the page on the city’s website where Publishable Data is made available in an Open Format.

7.10. “Protected Data” means any Data Set or portion thereof to which the city may deny access pursuant to federal, state, city ordinance or any other law including Case law, rule, or regulation.

7.11. “Publishable Data” means Data that has value for decision-making, is not Protected or Sensitive and that has been prepared for release on the Open Data Portal for non-commercial purpose.

7.12. “Sensitive Data” means any Data that, if published on the Open Data Portal, could raise privacy, confidentiality or security concerns or have the potential to jeopardize public health, safety or Welfare to an extent that is greater than the potential public benefit of publishing that Data.


8.1. Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 39, Arizona Public Records Law

8.2. City Charter Article 13, Sec. 1, Publicity of Records

8.3. Scottsdale Ordinance No. 3675 Ethics Code and No. 3557 Records Management

8.4. Scottsdale Resolution No. 10548 Open Data Policy and Program

8.5. AR295, Citywide Records Management and AR296 Records Requests

9.1 Mayor and City Council Priorities

9.2 Data Inventory Template (to be developed by the Open Data Leadership Team)

9.3 Data Approval Template (to be developed by the Open Data Leadership Team)

9.4 Open Data Guidebook (to be developed by the Open Data Leadership Team)


10.1 01/05/2017 Original Effective Date.

Do you see anything that looks wrong? Please let us know! Open a GitHub issue or email us at