On March 7, 2012, Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 11 of 2012, which amends the administrative code to mandate that qualifying City-managed digital data be made available to the public-at-large through a single web portal. By September 2012, the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) is to prepare and publish a technical standards manual for City agencies, setting forth policies and standards for open data.

The legislation additionally sets forth the following timeline:

This document is the Technical Standards Manual (TSM) that defines the Citywide policies, standards, and guidelines required to support the legislation.

Local Law 24 of 1995 established DoITT as “New York City’s information technology and telecommunications agency.”

Chapter 48 §1072(a) of the New York City Charter established the authority of DoITT by assigning powers and duties “to plan, formulate, coordinate and advance information technology and telecommunications policies for the city.” Under the administration of Mayor Bloomberg, DoITT published “PlanIT” in 2007 to drive IT development, improve and transform service delivery, and make City government more open by expanding the accessibility, transparency, and accountability of City government to its residents, businesses, visitors, and employees.

In late 2009, DoITT launched the NYC DataMine, which served as the City’s first effort to identify data sets and make them available to the public for download. In February 2010, DoITT published its “30-Day Report: Enabling the Connected City,” which committed to establishing Citywide open data policies to improve access to public information.

Executive Order No. 140 of 2010 directed DoITT to “be responsible for establishing and enforcing Citywide IT policies and for ensuring that such policies are aligned with the City’s business needs and investments, as well as the individual business needs of each agency.”

In October 2011, DoITT launched the NYC OpenData portal, advancing beyond simple downloads to fully interactive viewing, searching, and visualizing of City data. Additionally, the NYC OpenData portal provides sophisticated feedback mechanisms, metrics, and Representational State Transfer (REST) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

In 2012, the New York City Council passed Local Law 11, which was subsequently signed by Mayor Bloomberg, to make City data available online using open standards to ensure that City government is transparent, effective, and accountable to the public Local Law 11 streamlines intra-governmental and inter-governmental communication and interoperability, permits the public to assist in identifying efficient solutions for government, promotes innovative strategies for social progress, and creates economic opportunities. Local Law 11 directs DoITT to produce the TSM for the publishing of public data sets in raw or unprocessed form. These public data sets are to be made available on the Internet, accessible through a single web portal that is linked to (or any successor website maintained by, or on behalf of, the City of New York).

The TSM identifies the reasons why each technical standard was selected and the types of data for which it is applicable, and may recommend or require that data be published in more than one technical format. The TSM includes a plan to adopt or use a web application programming interface that permits application programs to request and receive public data sets directly from the single web portal. DoITT will update the TSM as necessary, as required by the law.

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