Open Data Policy Collection

Washington, DC

Executive Memorandum (Jun 12, 2006)

View original policy



Office of the City Administrator


FROM: Robert Bobb, City Administrator TO: All Agency Heads and Directors RE: Streaming of DCStat Data to

This memorandum informs that DCStat is going to make available on the internet the data that the District staff can access on the intranet.

The District of Columbia is joining the national trend of local governments in providing public access to information directly through the Internet. Starting June 12, the District will begin streaming data that the agencies gather through normal operations to the web site in Really Simple Syndication (RSS) format. Currently this information is managed by DCStat and shared with the staff only through the District’s intranet.

DCStat is the program which was instituted in 2004 by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) pursuant to my direction that the District of Columbia provide key information about city conditions from multiple agencies/sources in a real time basis to facilitate accountable, cost-effective, data-driven, customer focused management.

Attached is a chart showing the data bases and the corresponding target publication date. The first content to be published will be resident requests for service called into the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center, including the associated Hansen status reports.

It is important that agencies and directors take all necessary steps to closeout or update any cases that may still be open for your agency in preparation for this release.

I have directed the Center for Innovation and Reform to establish and lead a steering committee to help guide the implementation of this initiative and to ensure close coordination with the affected agencies.

Also attached are the general guidelines DCStat will follow when posting information on the District’s web site. The first meeting of the ad hoc committee will be held the week of May 15th. A meeting invitation will follow. Direct any questions in the meantime to Oscar Rodriguez, Director of the Center for Innovation and Reform at 727-9071.


Dataset Planned Release Date Description
Service requests from 727-1000 and web site Mon 6/12/06 These will include requests made to Dep of Transportation, Dept of Public Works and Dep of web site Health Sanitation Enforcement (Rodent control) services. The data feed will include, type, location and resolution information.
OTR registered vacant Mon 6/26/06 Property information for all vacant properties property registered with Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) where their tax rates are set at $5.00 per every $100.00.
Crime Incidents Mon 7/10/06 Property and violent crime incidents reported by Metropolitan Police Dept. (MPD)
Real property Mon 7/24/06 All real property information available from Office of Tax and Revenue
DCRA vacant property Mon 8/7/06 Properties that are identified and registered at Dep of Consumer and Requlatory Affairs (DCRA) as vacant.
Housing code enforcement (not Public Housing) Mon 8/21/06 Housing code complaints, inspections and violation enforcement notices from DCRA. The data feed will include type, Housing findings of inspectors, and any infraction notices served to the owner(s).
Arrests & Charges Mon 9/4/06 Arrests and charqes reported by MPD
Basic Business License Mon 9/18/06 Current and expired licenses business licenses granted by DCRA. Data feed will include location, name and type of business.
Public space permits Mon 10/2/06 Current public space permits granted by Dept of Transportation.
Building permit Mon 10/16/06 Buildinq type and permit qranted by DCRA ABRA Licenses Mon 10/30106 Alcoholic beverage license granted by the Alcohol Beveraqe Control board.


The guiding principle for streaming to the web is to enable the citizens to understand their government’s activities and become knowledgeable participants in improving the quality of life and promoting economic development in the city.

To ensure the usability of the posted information, datasets will be posted in a common format:

  • Information Relevance - A short statement about the government function(s) reflected in the dataset, including relevance to residents and suggested uses, how often updates will occur and caveats.

  • Data Specifications - Description of the data fields (Metadata) the public can use to analyze operations.

The web feed will be made available on the District’s website in three collections:

  • Current - Most datasets will be released on daily basis. The feed will contain all new and updated records since the previous releases.

  • Archive - Historical records that represent longer time periods beyond the current dataset

  • Report - Two to five year operational trend that, depending on nature of the data, can be disaggregated by ward, neighborhood cluster, type, population or other factors

The publication of the datasets in be done in close cooperation with the interested.

Agency Responsibilities

  • Identify information that should be designated private on account of law or other privacy reasons and specify how it can be aggregated, generalized or otherwise de-identified so it can be made public
  • Accuracy and quality of supplied data set
  • Designate an agency representative and relevant contact information responsible for each data set
  • Establish and sustain system access necessary for DCStat to periodically gather data electronically
  • Support development necessary to extract, transfer and load data to DCStat
  • Assist in the resolution of discrepancies or inconsistent reporting results
  • Provide subject matter expertise necessary to interpret database content
  • Notify DCStat in advance when an application or database will be unavailable, changed or restated.

DCStat Responsibilities

  • Provide reliable DCStat repository adequately provisioned to host agency data
  • Publish the data to the site
  • Support development necessary to extract, transfer and load agency data
  • Maintain accuracy and quality of supplied data sets
  • Gather data at intervals consistent with frequency of database updates
  • Provide contact information for database technical and program contacts
  • Assist the design of databases that to support agency reporting needs
  • Train agency staff on Business Objects browser-based reporting tool
  • Provide agency access to Business Objects browser-based reporting tool (subject to license availability)

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