Tuesday, July 21, 2015

California associations take an “Opposed Unless Amended” position on SB 272

SB 272, a bill to require local government agencies to prominently publish information about their IT infrastructure, is currently pending in the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee.  The Legislature is in recess until August  17, 2015.

In a June 26th open letter about Open Data to California Assemblymember Mark Stone, Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and several other associations of local government agencies in the state enumerate their objections to SB 272 and say that unless it is amended to reflect their concerns, they will oppose its passage.

You can read their letter here. 

The authors of the letter contend that “As currently written, SB 272 is essentially providing a blueprint to accessing our systems and compromising the sensitive information within.”

They also feel that “the definition of enterprise systems is over broad and would require that agencies list systems that are for internal purposes.”

They are also unhappy that “The language in SB 272 blurs the line between the listing of data systems and records under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).”

They conclude by saying that, “For these reasons, our associations have an OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED position on SB 272 and respectfully request your ‘NO’ vote.”

Another party heard from

Another open data bill, SB 573 is also currently pending in the California State Assembly.  Authored by pediatrician/California State Senator Richard Pan, SB 573 would establish the position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) of the State of California and create a universal data portal for accessing the state’s data resources, including from local agencies, under this provision at Section 11795.1(c)(2)(F) in the current version of the bill:

“The Chief Data Officer shall make the statewide open data portal available to any city, county, city and county, district, or other local agency interested in using the statewide open data portal to publish its own data.”

If the goal of SB 272, with all its perceived flaws, is to help pave the way towards a universal data portal that will allow users to conveniently access government data that is also properly protected regarding its data integrity, cyber security and the personal privacy of individuals referenced in the data, then why not just do that via the mechanisms in SB 573 and avoid all the potential pitfalls associated with SB 272?

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