Status Update // Fall 2017

Thank you to everyone who worked with us over the past few months to help us better understand the chokepoints in the current system of government financial data transparency implementation.

The first phase of our project was to investigate the status quo. Our staff began by scouring the contemporary literature on the subject and reaching out to organizations with a record of working on this issue. After informing ourselves and then actually interacting with the individual state databases, we created our own scorecard regarding the implementation of open data practices at the state level.

Through this work a few common problems came into focus. The inability to easily download data in machine readable formats and lack of uniformity across, and even within, states are two that are especially prevalent and egregious.

We feel the best way to lend assistance is by providing a collaborative community where solutions can be explored in the open, and by leveraging our tech expertise to help encourage governments to take advantage of low cost or no cost solutions.

Lincoln hopes to contribute in these two ways. First, by providing an avenue for communication and collaboration between already interested parties. By connecting individuals with the relevant experience across the country, open sourced, the Open Data Initiative will be a valuable resource for policy makers and organizations alike.

Second, by providing the tech expertise necessary to improve the system of government financial data reporting. For the next phase of our project we plan to leverage a pilot program in our home state to further understand the problems as officials see them on the ground. Through partnerships with California Policy Center and The Data Coalition we will be interacting with local, county, and state officials in order to further inform our ideas about a collection of best practices for reporting bulk financial government data. We believe we will find that the same sorts of problems that plague the states, also plague sub-state governments throughout the country.

True to the principles of our project, any and all resources produced by the Open Data Initiative will be always be made available through ,

We also want to thank the nearly 100 of you who came by to see us at our happy hour at the State Policy Network Annual Conference. We felt the event was a great success. We hope you were able to catch Garrett and Sean discussing our project thus far, but if you were unable to attend please keep an eye out for a webinar Sean will be hosting in October explaining our project and our plans for Q4 2017.

We look forward to working with you all in the near future. Thank you for again for your hard work on this issue and for your patience as we iterate through the early stages of our project.