D.C. announces ‘open by default’ data policy

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the signing of an executive order Thursday that creates a new data policy setting an "open by default" standard for all District government data.

The order's signing, announced at the launch of #innoMAYtion, Bowser's month-long civic tech promotion initiative, includes a directive to treat the city's data as a valuable resource and adds new classifications and governance around publishing data to the district's open data portal. The wording of the policy was selected based on recommendations made by transparency advocacy nonprofit Sunlight Foundation. Codifying best practices in an open data policy this way encourages agencies to share their data by providing instruction and rigor around what is a relatively new practice for government.

D.C. Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli said in a prepared statement that this support for transparency breeds trust and drives innovation.