Tag Archive | Records management

From Public Records to Open Government: Access to Massachusetts Municipal Geographic Data

by Robert Goodspeed, URISA Journal 2011, Volume 23, No 2

Abstract: Increasingly, citizens are demanding access to raw data from governments to hold public officials accountable, look up facts, conduct analysis, or create innovative applications and services. Cities and towns create data using geographic information systems such as layers describing parcels, zoning, and infrastructure that are useful for a wide range of purposes. Through a public records request to all 351 Massachusetts municipalities, this paper investigates whether these data are accessible to citizens in practice. Some response was received by 78.6 percent of the municipalities. Two municipalities refused access to all electronic records. Many others charged fees ranging up to $453 or placed legal restrictions on the data through licensing that could chill or prohibit creative reuses of the information through emerging technologies. Other practical barriers limited public access to data, such as limited resources, government officials’ limited technical knowledge, and outsourcing to private vendors. A followup survey among municipalities that did not respond to the request was conducted to determine if they had GIS systems or data policies, and this information was collected for 80.3 percent of the municipalities. Finally, the paper discusses the legal, policy, and technical steps that can be taken by governments to move from a “public records” to an “open government” paradigm for transparency of government data. The policy recommendations for municipalities include publishing GIS data for free online and with minimal legal restrictions.

For full text of the article, click here.

Best Practices Study of Social Media Records Policies

Best Practices Study of  Social Media Records Policies

ACT-IAC Collaboration & Transformation, (C&T) Shared Interest Group (SIG), Published March 2011

The purpose of this study is to build a discussion around the use of Web 2.0 collaborative technologies, also known as  social media, to help government and its citizens connect  more closely, collaboratively, and openly. The study involved  interviews at 10 agencies regarding records management  processes addressing the use of social media. The C&T SIG sought to explore and capture government best practices of retention policies for social media used to support agency  missions.

For a PDF copy of the report, click here.

Advice for federal agencies on social media records management [REPORT] | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platforms

One of the risks and rewards for the use of Web 2.0 that came up in the July hearing on “government 2.0” technology in the House of Representatives had nothing to do with privacy, secrecy, security or embarrassment. Instead, it was a decidedly more prosaic concern, and one that is no surprise to anyone familiar with governmental institutions: record keeping. And no, this is not another story about how the Library of Congress is archiving the world’s tweets.

IBM’s Business of Government Center has released a new report on social media (PDF) records management, focusing on some best practices for harried federal employees faced with rapidly expanding troves of tweets, Facebook status updates, blog posts or wikis. For those keeping track, 22 of 24 agencies now, at the minimum, have a Facebook presence.

For full text of the article, click on Advice for federal agencies on social media records management [REPORT] | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platforms.

Source: Alex Howard, gov20.govfresh, December 20, 2010

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