City of Jackson (MI) may be first in state to provide open data to residents, businesses

The days of turning in Freedom of Information Act requests for at least some Jackson city government information may soon be over. City officials along with University of Michigan School of Information students are working on an open data policy for city government which – if enacted – would be the first of its kind in Michigan.

No Michigan city and no city in the country with a population of less than 100,000 has such a policy according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization charged with increasing transparency in all sizes of governments – ranging from the U.S. Congress to small municipalities.

"I'm excited about how we could use open data to improve efficiencies and interactions not only within City Hall, but within the greater community," Jackson City Councilman Derek Dobies, 6th Ward, said. Dobies spearheaded the three-year partnership between the city and U-M, which was solidified in June. Continue>>>