San Francisco’s open data directive

Full text or pdf of San Francisco’s Open Data Executive Directive:

Executive Directive 09-06
Open Data
October 21, 2009

By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Section 3.100 of the San Francisco Charter to provide administration and oversight of all departments and governmental units in the executive branch of the City and County of San Francisco, I do hereby issue this Executive Directive to become effective immediately:

1. Benefits of the Open Data Directive

This Directive will enhance open government, transparency, and accountability by improving access to City data that adheres to privacy and security policies. Data which often resides in technology systems is unique from information like documents, emails and calendars in that it is structured and can be used by other computer applications for analysis or new uses such as mapping. This Directive establishes a one-stop destination for all approved City data that will help constituents make better use of information. This new ease of access will lead to innovation in how residents interact with government, resulting in social and economic benefits for the City.

The City and County of San Francisco will be able to engage our innovative high-tech workforce by releasing data, a key component of San Francisco’s future economic development. By providing government data that adheres to privacy and security policies, San Francisco’s world class technology community is given the platform from which to create useful civic tools, all at no cost to City government. By bringing City data and San Francisco’s entrepreneurs together, we can effectively leverage existing resources to stimulate industry, create jobs and highlight San Francisco’s creative culture and attractiveness as a place to live and work. Finally, the City and County of San Francisco’s technology presence will begin to reflect that of our world class, cutting edge private technology sector, and help us better engage the wealth of knowledge and skills of our local community.

2. The City declares its commitment to transparency in government data.

a. All datasets determined to be accessible to the public now and in the future shall be made available through

b. All Department Heads or their designees shall strive to publish all datasets under their authority consistent with the DataSF authorization policy. Detailed information on how to update is available here:

c. All Department Heads or their designees shall conduct quarterly reviews of their progress on providing access to datasets requested by the public through The results of this review shall be sent to the Mayor’s Office.

For questions concerning this Executive Directive and its implementation, please contact: Brian Purchia, Mayor’s Office, [email protected], 415-554-7135.

Gavin Newsom

Luke Fretwell is the founder of the civic innovation and technology blog GovFresh. He advises civic leaders and businesses on how to best leverage digital strategies to create more effective, collaborative governments. He has written about government IT for Federal Computer Week, NextGov, FedScoop, StateScoop and FierceGovernment, and has been referenced by the Washington Post and Fast Company on civic technology issues. He has worked with a number of government-focused companies and media, including CivicActions, NuCivic and FedScoop and has been involved in broad-focused community efforts, such as GovPress, CityCamp, CivicMeet, Agile Government Leadership and Open Source for America. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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