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Lead -Designate an executive data leader as the Chief Data Officer

Why Establish a Chief Data Officer in law? Many executive positions in state government are established by law. These positions range from agency or department heads such as a Secretary of Transportation to other types of appointed or executive positions such as the head of the state law enforcement department. Establishing positions in law signifies that both the legislative and executive branches of state government believe the role to be critical to the operation of state government and ensures the roles continue into future administrations.

Establishing a Chief Data Officer and its authority/responsibility -

Example 1: Connecticut:

Connecticut’s law broadly establishes the Chief Data Officer role, authority and responsibility. It is intended to be relatively simple such that it could be included in a budget authorization bill, while enabling a CDO to advance the core functions of the position.

Sec. 4-67p. Chief Data Officer. Duties. (a) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall designate an employee of the Office of Policy and Management to serve as Chief Data Officer. The Chief Data Officer shall be responsible for (1) directing* executive branch agencies on the use and management of data to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs and policies, (2) facilitating the sharing and use of executive branch agency data (A) between executive branch agencies, and (B) with the public, (3) coordinating data analytics and transparency master planning for executive branch agencies, and (4) creating the state data plan in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. The Chief Data Officer shall carry out the responsibilities set forth in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection in accordance with the state data plan created pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

*States may want to consider replacing the word “directing” with “advising.” During a November 2019 convening, most state CDOs indicated that “directing” was too strong a word and may result in a lack of willingness to cooperate from partner agencies.

Example 2: Oregon:

Oregon’s law provides more specificity to the role of the CDO position by articulating specific duties and responsibilities.

Chief Data Officer; duties; rules. (1) The State Chief Information Officer shall appoint a Chief Data Officer. (2) The Chief Data Officer shall: (a) Maintain a central web portal for the publication of publishable data under ORS 276A.362. (b) Establish the open data standard as provided in ORS 276A.356. (c) Prepare and publish the technical standards manual as provided in ORS 276A.359. (d) Create an enterprise data inventory that accounts for all datasets used within agency information systems and that indicates whether each dataset may be made publicly available and if the dataset is currently available to the public. The enterprise data inventory is a public record. (e) Provide information protection and privacy guidance for state agencies. (f) Establish an enterprise data and information strategy. (g) Identify ways to use and share existing data for business intelligence and predictive analytic opportunities. (h) Identify strategies to combine internal and external data sources. (i) Establish statewide data governance and policy area data governance and provide guidance for agencies about data governance efforts. (j) Oversee the delivery of education and standards to state agencies regarding data quality, master data management and data life cycle management. (k) Form an advisory group to assist the Chief Data Officer in carrying out the duties described in this section and in establishing an enterprise memorandum of understanding for interagency data sharing. (L) Submit a biennial report to a committee or interim committee of the Legislative Assembly related to information management and technology on: (A) The status of agency posting of publishable data; and (B) The status of data sharing within and between agencies, enabling cross-agency analysis to provide information for public purposes, including but not limited to program design and budgeting decisions.

Both the Connecticut and Oregon models align well with the core CDO responsibilities. The Connecticut example broadly establishes the CDO responsponsibilities enabling flexibility for the role to evolve over time, yet maintaining a core focus on critical aspects of the role. A board model may be preferred where states want to ensure that the role is not limited and can adapt to shifting priorities without seeking to amend the legislations

The Oregon example remains aligned with the core CDO responsibilities but provides more itemized details on the CDO responsibilities. Itemizing these responsibilities in legislation may be preferential for states that want to ensure the role either does not become too broad or by states that prefer to ensure the authority remains limited.