Compliance With Executive Order 95 (Open Data) (Follow-Up)

Issued Date
August 27, 2021
Agency/Authority
General Services, Office of

Objective

To determine the extent of implementation of the three recommendations included in our initial audit report, Compliance with Executive Order 95 (Open Data) (Report 2019-S-39).

About the Program

State government entities possess large amounts of valuable information on subjects such as health, business, public safety, parks, 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 1960, the Office of General Services (OGS) provides essential support services to State government operations. Its mission is to manage and lease real property; design and build facilities; contract for goods, services, and technology; and deliver a broad scope of critical services for State agencies. OGS published its first data item to Open Data on June 24, 2014 and has published six data items as of June 9, 2021. We issued our initial audit report on April 8, 2020. The objective of our initial report, covering the period March 11, 2013 through December 6, 2019, was to determine whether OGS 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 OGS had taken steps to meet the requirements of EO 95; however, certain aspects of the order were not fully addressed. OGS did not identify the total population of publishable State data that it maintains. Therefore, there was limited assurance OGS provided a complete catalogue of its publishable State data or accompanying schedules for making that data public, as required. Additionally, OGS maintained potentially high-value publishable State data that it did not add to Open Data. Furthermore, OGS did not incorporate compliance with EO 95 into its core business functions. However, the audit found the data OGS had posted to Open Data to be usable and easily accessible, with no formatting issues.

Key Findings

OGS made limited progress in addressing the problems we identified in the initial audit report. Of the initial report’s three audit recommendations, one has not been implemented and two have been partially implemented.

Key Recommendations

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.

Brian Reilly

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