Montréal, Smart and Digital City - Reform of the Open Data Policy: Montréal adopts an "open by default" approach

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 28, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Harout Chitilian, vice-president of the executive committee and the member responsible for information technologies, the smart city and the administrative reform, announces a reform of the city's Open Data Policy, based on the concept of "open by default". Following best international practices, data will be open to all. Montréal currently has 184 open data sets, and the city intends to make most of its data available by the end of 2018.

The liberation of data is an important instrument of transparency and a vector of economic development that promotes the creation of high-quality jobs. Access to data will allow companies and organizations to develop new services for citizens. Montrealers are invited to participate in the development of this new version and share their comments online.

"We want our city to be transparent in its approach. The same goes for the way we make data available to citizens. Like New York City and the British government, both of which significantly increased the number of data sets they publish, Montréal is adopting an 'open by default' approach that has proven successful elsewhere in the world," said Mr. Chitilian.

New approach, change of culture
The adoption of the new data policy, supported by an internal directive, represents a major change of culture in the direction of transparency. In accordance with the principle of open by default, all data collected or acquired by the city is considered open, while considerations of privacy and public security are taken into account. This new directive will serve to accelerate the move toward the liberation of data.

In addition, paramunicipal organizations are invited to adopt the same policy, as part of an effort by the city to encourage its partners to follow its lead.

"The adoption of this new open data policy constitutes a major shift towards transparency, much like the creation of the role of Inspector General and 'Vue sur les contrats' (contract visualization tool). The 'open by default' approach will promote openness and the maximum use of data. Our hope is that companies will use the data we make available to further develop and contribute to an improved offer of municipal services. Ultimately, all Montrealers stand to be the chief beneficiaries of this approach," added Mr. Chitilian.

Contribution from citizens
Participatory democracy, which includes the reform of the open data policy, is one of the six programs featured in the 2015-2017 Montréal, Smart and Digital City Action Plan. In the spirit of continuous dialogue, Montréal smart city seeks to encourage all Montrealers to voice their opinions on this policy.

Montrealers will have online access to the policy project. By soliciting comments on the document, the city strengthens its approach of promoting civic engagement and taking the opinions of Montrealers into consideration. Citizens are invited to comment and make suggestions through November 6th. The document will then be improved and submitted to city officials for adoption.

Montrealers are also invited to take part in an event this evening intended to promote further reflection on current issues as well as future perspectives on the creation, liberation and use of open data in Montréal.

Overview of the Open Data Policy
On behalf of citizens, the city collects and manages data, in particular for its internal operations. These data represent information assets that are important both to the city and to citizens. It defines open data governance and responsibility with regard to its application. Montréal has adopted this policy to inform its administrative units of their duty with regard to open data and to familiarize citizens with their rights regarding access to open data. The policy applies to Montréal's administrative units, including the boroughs. The city's open data policy dates back to 2011.

The Montréal Smart and Digital City Action Plan
A project presented on the "Faire Montréal" platform, the reform of the open data policy is part of the 2015-2017 Montréal, Smart and Digital City Action Plan. The action plan introduces 70 projects divided into 6 programs. The projects were chosen based on their direct impact on the population, the return on investment and production deadline. A complete version of the Action Plan is available online.

Twitter: @mtlvi, #innmtl,

SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

For further information: Source: Andrée-Anne Toussaint, press attaché, Office of the mayor and the executive committee, 514 243-1268; Information: Valérie De Gagné, public relations officer, Public Affairs Division, 514 872-6013

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