Governor signs plan directing local agencies to make data more accessible

Local government agencies will catalog data

October 11, 2015

SACRAMENTO – California’s governor today endorsed a plan directing local government agencies to publish catalogs of key computer systems which would be publicly available.

Sponsored by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, the signing of Senate Bill 272 means data gathered internally by local public agencies will be in a more usable format available to the public under the California Public Records Act.

“A better understanding of data means a smarter government, and that translates into improved services and jobs and a stronger helping hand to residents who need it most,” Hertzberg said. “Gov. Brown’s signature on this bill means he understands that smarter governments work better and inspire confidence, strengthening the connection between governments and those they serve.”

SB 272 will require local governments to produce a catalog of the major computer “enterprise” systems used to collect and maintain public information, such as reports on economic activity and public services, by July 1, 2016, and updated annually. These catalogs will include who maintains the information, how it is stored and how often that data is collected. The bill takes care to protect public safety and infrastructure security.

Given that California has 58 counties and nearly 500 cities that collect and store public information, Hertzberg said some agencies do not even know all of the data they have.

“The goal for SB 272 is to better harness the power of locally generated data to help spur economic growth, tackle major infrastructure issues and engage millions of Californians in their communities,” Hertzberg said. “Properly gathered and clearly understood, data could also help empower local agencies and encourage the agencies to work together more effectively and to intelligently allocate resources to better deliver public services.”

SB 272 exempts critical agency control and infrastructure systems; protects cyber security, firewalls and certain sensitive records; ensures that information exempted by the Public Records Act remains protected; and clarifies that the records themselves will not be included in the catalog.

Supporters of SB 272 included: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; California Professional Firefighters; San Francisco Technology Democrats; Sunlight Foundation; American Civil Liberties Union; California Business Roundtable; California Manufacturers and Technology Association; National Federation of Small Business; Association of Builders and Contractors of California; Urban Strategies Council; Firearms Policy Coalition; California Broadcasters Association; Family Business Association; Building Owners and Manufacturers of California; San Diego Regional Data Library; and the California Asian Chamber of Commerce.

To read Hertzberg’s Op-Ed published Aug. 20, 2015 in the San Jose Mercury News explaining why he believes SB 272 is necessary, click HERE.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 272, visit Hertzberg’s Web site at the address below.

Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or at  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. More HERE or at ov/hertzberg


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