To determine the extent of implementation of the two recommendations included in our initial audit report, Compliance With Executive Order 95 (Open Data) (Report 2019-S-16).
About the Program
State government entities possess large amounts of valuable information on subjects such as health, business, public safety, parks and recreation, labor, and transportation. Executive Order 95 (EO 95), issued March 11, 2013, established an online Open Data Website (Open Data) for the collection and public dissemination of publishable State data maintained by covered State entities (generally, those headed by individuals appointed by the Executive). EO 95 implementation was phased in beginning in March 2013, with covered entities required to be in full compliance by December 2019. As of June 16, 2021, there were over 5,280 data items on Open Data. Open Data should provide ongoing “one-stop” access to publishable State data and make such data freely available in accessible formats for public use. Publishable State data should include comprehensive metadata and documentation to help maximize citizens’ understanding, and the public should be able to easily access the data using common software applications. Each covered State entity was required, within 180 days of the issuance of EO 95, to provide the Office of Information and Technology Services with a catalogue of its publishable State data, along with a proposed schedule for making the data available on Open Data.
Established in 1778, the Department of State (Department) is the oldest department in State government. The Department serves as the official compiler of State agency rules and regulations as well as the publisher of information on the State Constitution, the Great Seal of New York, and other official State documents. The Department also provides a variety of services related to areas such as licensing, uniform commercial code, consumer protection, and the New York State Athletic Commission. The Department published its first data set to Open Data on February 14, 2013 and had 22 data items on Open Data as of June 16, 2021.
We issued our initial audit report on April 8, 2020. The objective of our initial report, covering the period February 1, 2013 through October 16, 2019, was to determine whether the Department was complying with EO 95, including providing, in a timely manner, publishable State data to ITS under EO 95, and whether data posted under EO 95 was reliable and easily usable. We found the Department had generally complied with the requirements of EO 95, incorporating compliance with EO 95 into its core business functions and continued to identify new data sets to add to Open Data. However, the Department did not identify the total population of publishable State data that it maintains. Therefore, there was limited assurance the Department provided a complete catalogue or accompanying schedules for making the data public, as required. Additionally, the audit found some problems with the usability of some of the Department’s data sets on Open Data.
The Department made progress in addressing the problems we identified in the initial audit report. Of the initial report’s two audit recommendations, one has been implemented and one has not been implemented.
Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.
State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Brian Reilly
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236