The Democratic Governor candidate forums have been extremely boring as of late, with many an uninspired moderator wasting people’s time asking the candidates about positions they’re already on the record with.
So in the interest of getting some more new information, I’m hoping that future forum moderators will pull some questions from this hot new questionnaire that the folks at PA Open Data put together.
Open data is a critical tool for political activists these days, because it has the power to illuminate funding disparities, waste, and the effects of bad policy choices among other things.
I’ll be sending around the questionnaire to the candidates and will post their responses on here as they come in.
1. Many businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies view information as an asset. If elected, how will your administration increase access to this important asset for benefit of the Commonwealth?
2. Public information is often siloed within various state agencies, and not always easily accessible to residents or other units of government. How will your administration improve information sharing in Pennsylvania?
3. Open sharing of information and information technology has helped to improve the relationship between citizens and government. How will your administration use information and technology to better connect with citizens?
4. Many datasets controlled by the state are subject to disclosure under the Open Records Law. Do you support making the default policy that such datasets are proactively available online according to commonly-accepted open data guidelines (see FAQ for details)?
Please indicate Yes or No and explain your position.
5. Current laws protecting personal privacy would still apply to all information released under an open data policy. Beyond this protected information, what specific data sets do you feel should be restricted for public access?
6. Many cities and states around the U.S. are adopting open data policies and practices to share information with residents and other stakeholders. What are the 3 most important things you would do as governor to make state data “open”?