I’ve come to realize that Open Government and Open Data are key to improving the overall quality of life in Cote St Luc providing both transparency and better citizen engagement.
“Open Data” will empower you by informing clearly and quickly how the city is doing from day to day, how projects are succeeding or potentially failing. Whether good news or bad news, Open Data helps to provide the “real story” to citizens so that they may judge for themselves how their city is operating. It provides ways to set and measure tangible targets for service quality and quality of life
“Open Government” will open new ways of leveraging technology and policy to work together so that your ideas, interests and concerns are shared with the community so that your city works for YOU.
Open Data and Open Government are two sides of the same coin that together provide the foundation for a truly well-run, Smart City.
Based on internationally recognized policies and methods, this type of plan has been proven over and over again to provide great benefits to any city that has implemented them.
It is our future, and our city should not waste any time in experiencing its benefits.
My 6-step plan will ensure that Cote St Luc becomes a Smart City that provides better services, better efficiency, and better sustainability.
Step #1: ESTABLISH AN OPEN GOVERNMENT POLICY
I will make a motion to council for the City to commit to a policy of Open Data by Default and to pursue a plan for Open Government.
You will no longer require to follow the “Access to Information” procedure to access information that has neither privacy nor security concerns, as the information will gradually be made available to you, online.
The Open Data policy will involve the principles of:
- Accountability – All employees shall be responsible for the proper management of information.
- Openness – Information shall be open and accessible.
- Lifecycle – Information shall be managed through all of its stages of usefulness in coordination with city business planning.
- Value – Information shall be current, accurate, relevant and easy to use.
The Open Data Policy supports the principle that information is open and accessible, subject of course to the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/ShowDoc/cs/A-2.1)
The Open Government Policy will be determined gradually with input from a citizen/councillors committee.
Step #2: INVOLVE CITIZENS RIGHT AWAY
I will establish a joint citizen/councillors committee with the mandate to meet once a month in order:
- To establish methods to determine citizen preferences and desires through surveys, polls, live votes, etc.
- To decide which data are most needed right away.
- To make recommendations for educating citizens in city processes and procedures and involving citizens in decision making.
- To establish a policy for open government for the city and set goals and metrics to achieve.
STEP #3 – VIDEO TAPE COUNCIL SESSIONS
I will introduce a motion to require council to video-tape council sessions and make open videos available online to the public, and closed session videos to be archived for auditing.
This may require purchase of some video equipment, and ideally a solution by which question period could be “online” to include those citizens who cannot attend.
Minutes of the meeting shall be provided in both standard minute format and searchable.
STEP #4 – SET QUALITY TARGETS AND TRACK THEM
I will introduce a motion to establish an ISO quality accreditation (ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life Platinum Certification) as a key goal for this city.
This standard will establish an internationally recognized system of metrics to be measured in all departments, and by surveys to allow Cote St Luc to measure its progress as it becomes one of the most efficient, Smart Cities in Quebec.
ISO 37120 will impartially judge how well we do our job, in areas including economy, education, energy, environment, finance, safety, fire and emergency response, governance, health, recreation, safety, shelter, telecommunications and innovation, transportation, urban planning, wastewater, and water and sanitation.
It will be the report card by which you can judge my administration and all future administrations.
STEP #5 – ROLLOUT THE WEB
We will introduce on-line and mobile app tools including:
- A Citizen Dashboard that displays our success or failure in meeting all the target goals and projects in the city.
- An Open Budget display that allows you to dive down deep into the city budget and see what’s happening.
- A City Services Online 311 Site (and soon after a 311-telephone call line) that will allow you to report parking complaints, submit a service request, and access most city services directly online.
Step #6 – INNOVATE
In July 2018, the city will host its first 24-hour “hack-a-thon” inviting residents of all ages to brainstorm problems and build solutions together with local software developers, designers and school computer whizzes to develop websites and apps creatively with the city’s newly “opened” data.
To minimize the cost of these projects, we will offer to share the cost for setting up open data portals and websites with the other demerged municipalities. This not only minimizes cost, but can also maximize data sharing in a common area of the city where we share many of the same problems and concerns.