New “Transparency” Section Features Campaign Finance, Lobbying, Attorney Registration, Public Authorities, and Budget Information
Albany, NY (May 1, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today made millions of additional records from multiple government agencies available on New York’s new, comprehensive data transparency website, Open.ny.gov, which was launched earlier this year to provide user-friendly, one-stop access to data from the state, localities and the federal government.
The data featured in a new “Transparency” section on the website includes: campaign contribution and expenditure records from the New York State Board of Elections dating back to 1999; New York State lobbying and enforcement records from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics; attorney registration as far back as 1898 from the Office of Court Administration; the New York State employee phone directory; and information on public authorities from the Authorities Budget Office.
“Since launching Open.ny.gov, we continue to add valuable information for New Yorkers to increase transparency and better understand their government,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, we have added millions of records on campaign finance, lobbying, ethics enforcement, the state budget, and other information related to public integrity. It is another example of how the State is using technology to bring the people back into government – empowering voters, strengthening our democracy and promoting transparency and accountability in the Empire State.”
With today’s announcement, Open.ny.gov now contains voluminous additional data that can be searched by keyword, cross-referenced with other public datasets, downloaded for analysis, and graphed, mapped or charted using the tools available through the website.
The data published to Open.ny.gov today includes:
- 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; and
- 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.
Open.ny.gov also now contains data on enforcement activities taken by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and its predecessors dating back to 2008 and by the New York State Office of the Inspector General dating back to 2010; a new integrated list of public authorities as identified by the Authorities Budget Office; and a searchable, downloadable directory of New York State government employees, including office telephone numbers.
“The public is demanding that government be more transparent and accountable,” said Brian Digman, New York State’s Chief Information Officer. “We take very seriously the role technology can play to provide information and create new routes for citizen engagement, and are leveraging Open.ny.gov to meet those goals.”
Open.ny.gov is a new, comprehensive state data transparency website launched during Sunshine Week on March 11, 2013, that provides – for the first time – user-friendly, one-stop access to data from state agencies, localities, and the federal government. Open.ny.gov provides government data, including economic development, recreation, health, and public services information, in a format that allows researchers, citizens, businesses, and the tech community to easily search, explore, download, share, and map the information.
Today’s expansion of Open.ny.gov is the latest step in “Open New York,” an initiative outlined in the Governor’s 2013 State of the State address to use technology to promote transparency, improve government performance, and enhance citizen engagement. Governor Cuomo also launched OpenBudget.ny.gov this year in connection with the Executive Budget Address on January 22, 2013, as part of Open New York.
Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union, said, “The important addition of suggested new data by Citizens Union related to public integrity to the state’s open data portal is great to see. This particular class of information shows how open data meaningfully brings about greater transparency and ensures better accountability of state government to New Yorkers. These new data sets also allow New Yorkers to follow the money and examine the activity of those who interact with government.”
Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government, said, “The addition of this data in the Open NY format enables the public to know more than ever before about the sources of influence in relation to the legislative and decision making processes.”
John Kaehny, Executive Director, Reinvent Albany, said, “Credit Governor Cuomo for using the state's powerful open data website, Open NY, to make it easier for New Yorkers to find and use the state's wealth of information. Data set by data set, Open NY is giving New Yorkers a more complete picture of how our government works.”
Tim Hoefer, Director, Empire Center for New York State Policy, said, “The Governor's commitment to get more, better data proactively disclosed is encouraging. As more and more diverse data become available, our governments become more accountable and in turn run better and more efficiently.”