Transparency Watch

NY opens millions of records on state data portal

New York State this week announced the addition of millions of records to the state’s data transparency website, open.ny.gov, which launched during Sunshine Week of 2011. New York’s is one of 39 state open data sites, according to data.gov. At least 39 county and city governments have similar portals.

The records span multiple state agencies and include, according to the news release, includes the following records:

  • Campaign Contributions, Expenditures, and Committees: Over seven million
       records of campaign contributions and expenditures dating back to 1999,
       along with a complete list of candidate committees registered with the
       Board of Elections.
  • Lobbying: Complete disclosure data from the last six years of lobbying
       reports required under New York State law from lobbyists, clients, and
       public corporations. Data includes the identities of lobbyists and
       clients, lobbying expenditures and compensation, and subjects lobbied.
       The site also includes information newly required under the Public
       Integrity Reform Act of 2011 on client sources of funding and lobbyist-
       and client-reportable business relationships, as reported to the Joint
       Commission on Public Ethics, plus information on lobbyist disbursement
       of public money.
  • Attorney Registration: New York State attorney registration information,
       including the admission date, current status (i.e., registered,
       disbarred, deceased, etc.), and other public information about all
       attorneys registered in New York State, including attorneys admitted to
       practice law as far back as 1898.
  • Budget Vetoes:  To further increase transparency in the New York State
       budget process, the site now provides information about budget vetoes in
       the current budget. Following the enactment of the 2013-14 budget,
       Governor Cuomo vetoed 202 items that were added by the Legislature.
       Searchable, downloadable information on these vetoes is now available,
       including the justification for each item.

New York State calls the expansion the latest step in an initiative from the governor’s State of the State address called Open New York, in which he outlined the use of technology to improve transparency and citizen engagement. The state also launched openbudget.ny.gov as part of the initiative.

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