On this site, several terms have specific meanings as defined in Local Law 11 of 2012. These, as well as other commonly used terms, are listed on this page. When a term is defined in the law, it is so indicated.


An Agency, when the term is capitalized, means an office, administration, department, division, bureau, board, commission, advisory committee or other governmental entity performing a governmental function of the city of New York. (Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition).

When not capitalized, the term agency means either an agency in another jurisdiction, such as federal or state, or an exact quotation from another published City document, such as a City Local Law or Executive Order.

Best Practice

An informal convention or generally-accepted method, process, or technique that has been proven over time to accomplish given tasks. Best practices are commonly used where no specific formal methodology has been standardized, or existing methodologies do not sufficiently address a specific issue. City

The City of New York, the municipality with jurisdiction within City boundaries, is referred to interchangeably as New York City, NYC, or the City.

Citywide Standard

An industry standard or de facto standard which is adopted and/or mandated by DoITT to be used in relation to the City’s information technology systems and services. DoITT is directed by the City Charter and subsequent Executive Order to establish Citywide standards that apply to all New York City Agencies. (Refer to the Policy Model.)


(Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition) Final versions of statistical or factual information in alphanumeric form reflected in a list, table, graph, chart or other non-narrative form, that can be digitally transmitted or processed; and regularly created or maintained by or on behalf of and owned by an agency that records a measurement, transaction, or determination related to the mission of an agency.

Data shall not include information provided to an agency by other governmental entities, nor shall it include image files, such as designs, drawings, maps, photos, or scanned copies of original documents, provided that it shall include statistical or factual information about such image files and shall include geographic information system (GIS) data.

Data Set

A named collection of related records on a storage device, with the collection containing individual data units organized or formatted in a specific and prescribed way, often in tabular form, and accessed by a specific access method that is based on the data set organization. De Facto Standard

A custom, convention, product, or system that has achieved a dominant position by public acceptance or market forces. (Refer to the Policy Model.)


The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The term “department,” when used in Local Law 11 of 2012, is defined as “the department of information technology and telecommunications or any successor agency.”


The mechanisms used by an organization to ensure that its constituents follow its established processes and policies. It is the primary means of maintaining oversight and accountability in a loosely coupled organizational structure. Proper governance strategy implements systems to monitor and record what is going on, takes steps to ensure compliance with agreed policies, and provides for corrective action in cases where the rules have been ignored or misconstrued.


A recommended principle or rule to inform decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). Guidelines suggest the use of processes and standards. While guidelines are not enforced, they are strong recommendations. (Refer to the Policy Model.)

Industry Standard

A requirement that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria governing specific aspects of hardware, software, data, and processes. These are standards that have been approved by a recognized standards organization within the industry, and are usually under the jurisdiction of an official Standards Body. (Refer to the Policy Model.)


Contextual information that makes the public data sets easier to understand and use.


An Open Data Coordinator. An ODC is a City employee designated by an Agency to act as the coordinator of open data efforts for that Agency.

Open Standard

(Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition) A technical standard developed and maintained by a voluntary consensus standards body that is available to the public without royalty or fee. (Refer to the Policy Model.) Principle

A law or rule used to choose among solutions to a problem. (Refer to the Policy Model.)


A mandatory principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). Policies impose the use of procedures and standards. Policies are enforceable, and may require assertions of compliance. (Refer to the Policy Model.)


A process. See: Process.


A series of actions or operations that are executed in the same manner in order to obtain a specific result. In the context of large-scale (enterprise) information technology systems, processes are used to support the governance of a particular topic or technology domain. (Refer to the Policy Model.)

Public Data Set

(Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition) A comprehensive collection of interrelated data that is available for inspection by the public in accordance with any provision of law and is maintained on a computer system by, or on behalf of, an Agency, excluding any data to which an Agency may deny access pursuant to the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law or any federal or state rule or regulation.

The entry above is only a summary. Please consult Local Law 11 of 2012 for the full authoritative definition.


A condition or capability needed by a stakeholder (such as an entity, member of the public, or the City) to solve a problem or achieve an objective. A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a solution or solution component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed document.

A singular documented need of what a particular product or service should be or perform.

(Refer to the Policy Model.)

Technical Standard

(Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition) A standard that includes: the common and repeated use of rules, conditions, guidelines, or characteristics for products or related processes and production methods, and related management systems practices; and (i) the definition of terms; (ii) classification of components; (iii) delineation of procedures; (iv) specifications of dimensions, materials, performance, designs, or operations; (v) measurement of quality and quantity in describing materials, processes, products, systems, services, or practices; (vi) test methods and sampling procedures; or (vii) descriptions of fit and measurements of size or strength. (Refer to the Policy Model.)

Voluntary Consensus Standards Body

(Per Local Law 11 of 2012 definition) A domestic or international organization that develops and maintains a technical standard. A Voluntary Consensus Standards Body utilizes a transparent deliberative process, permits the participation of any party, and achieves general consensus, although not necessarily unanimity, of the participating parties, including a process for attempting to resolve any differences in viewpoint.

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