Open Data Policy Guidelines » Guideline 24

Create or appoint oversight authority

Some questions may defy easy treatment in the process of creating an open data policy, so it’s appropriate to define a single authority empowered to resolve conflicts and ensure compliance with new open data measures. Some policies direct a pre-existing officer (e.g., a chief data or information officer, or an open data ombudsman) or a specific department to oversee execution and compliance, although new positions and authorities can also be created. It’s important to emphasize that creating oversight does not necessarily require hiring new staff. Responsibility can be distributed among departmental coordinators who meet regularly, for example, to reduce the burden of oversight. This can also help with cross-departmental coordination and buy-in to the open data efforts.

Specifying an authority, review board or similar body is an important step to making sure that an open data policy can be executed and provides a resource to address unforeseen hurdles in implementation. Oversight bodies should conduct their work independently and publicly, and can be bolstered by creating new regulations or guidance for implementation (see Provision 25).

Further reading:

Examples of language for this guideline:

Here are examples of the language for this guideline as included in policies on this site. Please note that the selections of text below are imperfect, and you should check out their source policies to read them in context.