CLOSED: City of Arlington Seeks Public Comment on Draft Open Data Policy

Editor’s note:  Thank you for your input regarding the City of Arlington’s draft Open Data Policy. We will review and consider all comments as we finalize the Policy for review and consideration by the Mayor and City Council in their meetings on October 10 and October 17, 2017. Please stay tuned for additional news regarding the City’s Open Arlington project.  We appreciate your interest!


The City of Arlington is seeking public input as its drafts a new policy designed to govern the release and accessibility of city data, ranging from code violations to construction permits.

Besides increasing transparency for the public and improving efficiency for city employees, the City also recognizes that easily accessible data can be a useful tool for economic development, academic and scientific research, neighborhood involvement and other ventures. The creation of an Open Data Policy furthers the Arlington City Council’s priority to Put Technology to Work.

“The City of Arlington’s Open Data Policy is a foundational element in our effort to use our data to connect the dots that will help us improve transparency, productivity and evidence based decision making,” Deputy City Manager Theron Bowman said. “By making more data accessible externally, we hope to increase public engagement and invite more innovation and accountability from our resident, business, non-profit and educational stakeholders.”

Arlington’s proposed Open Data Policy aims to:

  • Improve the provision of services, increase transparency and access to public information
  • Enhance coordination and efficiencies among City Departments and partner organizations
  • Develop opportunities for commerce, economic development, increased investment and civic engagement for citizens
  • Protect privacy, confidentiality, and security while also advancing the City’s transparency and accountability through open data
  • Facilitate the proactive provision of information currently sought through Open Records Requests.

Click here to read the City of Arlington Draft Open Data Policy.

The City of Arlington is collecting public input in the comments section of this article and through this website.  The deadline for questions and comments is Friday, September 15, 2017. The Arlington City Council will review and consider adoption of the Open Data Policy in October.

A wide variety of searchable city data, from active zoning cases to annual inspection scores for apartment complexes, is already available through Open Arlington, which launched in January.

Arlington is one of nearly 100 cities partnering with the What Works Cities initiative, which aims to improve the effectiveness of local governments by enhancing the use of data and evidence.

Through technical assistance from What Works Cities’ expert partners, participating cities are developing data-driven tools to best determine priorities, drive progress toward them, allocate resources, and tackle their toughest challenges – from homelessness to public safety and economic development. Cities are also fostering trust with their communities through greater transparency around city data in efforts to increase collaboration toward developing solutions.

Click here to download a copy of the City of Arlington Draft Open Data Policy.

Related article:


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Karen Gavis

Arlington says it seeks public input here, but public input did not matter concerning the city’s proposed garage sale ordinance where at a public meeting held by code enforcement the majority present were not supportive of regulations and voted against a garage sale permit fee. Regardless, a permit fee and regulations are being pushed by code enforcement and “tentatively” scheduled to go before City Council this month.

Sinikka Dickerson

Looking for more transparency on Arlington crime. Why are the APD stats not displayng accurate numbers on violent crime, i.e., homicides???


Will the city sell any of this information or allow any of this information (names and addresses) to be given to any business in any way? Like the sewer line and water line scam?

Mark Whatley

There’s absolutely no reason why this data should not be available to the taxpayers. This is a positive step in the direction of municipal accountability.

Mark Whatley

This is a step in the right direction as long as the data is usable for research.

Jay Warren

This is an interesting project and happy to see the City taking a lead on data information, with an emphasis on privacy. I’d be curious to see more concrete ways the data can be used by citizens.

Kay Duffy

It seems to me that the public/private partnership section could specifically state that city data will be shared with non-gov’t entities to enhance the quality of life in the community BUT NOT be sold as a revenue-generating enterprise.

Kim Feil
I like the meta tag naming/describing of the data, I am hoping that all gas well related information will be accessible as currently we lose the last quarterly reports for violations or incidents when the new quarter arrives. I disagree that “(iv) any record subject to privacy laws, or to copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret protection, or that are otherwise protected by law or contract;…” when the city utilizes that information in their decision making…for example on a Municipal Setting Designation to forever forgive Brownfield cleanup in the interest of developing a polluted site, if the city did NOT… Read more »