About the Council on Open Data

“It is the policy of the state that open data be machine readable and released to the public in ways that make the data easy to find, accessible, and usable, including through the use of open data portals.”
The Maryland Council on Open Data was established as part of the Open Data Act (State Government, Section 10-1501 through 10-1504). The duties of the Council are to recommend, coordinate, identify, advise, encourage, plan, promote, and advocate for Maryland’s open data. 
 The Maryland Council on Open Data has 37 members, including Cabinet agencies, five county representatives, and five private citizens. The Council Chair is the Secretary of the Department of Information Technology, with the Director of the Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement serving as the Vice-Chair. The Council meets quarterly and all meetings are open to the public.
The intent of the Open Data Act, is to provide transparency so that businesses, residents, visitors, and civil servants can use state data to aid in decision making. Moreover, the transparency of data helps improve accountability, as data owners share the responsibility for ensuring that data is accurate, up-to-date and available to the public. Open data also has the potential to help improve performance, by enabling greater analysis of data and providing more opportunities for collaboration.
The Act also established the Council on Open Data to “promote the policy.” Promotion of the policy includes:
  • providing guidance and policy recommendations and when appropriate recommend legislation and regulations for:
    • procedures, standards, and other deliverables for open data, including for open data portals
    • promotion, advertising, and marketing of open data
    • best practices for sharing open data while taking into account privacy and security concerns
  • coordinating the appropriate staff at each State entity for the development, maintenance, and use of open data and open data portals
  • identifying the collective cost of operating and investing in open data and funding mechanisms to support open data; and
  • advising the Governor and General Assembly on budget matters related to open data
  • inviting and encouraging local entities and the legislative and judicial branches to:
    • use open data portals established by State entities;
    • create their own open data portals; and
    • adopt policies consistent with the open data policy
  • establishing a plan for providing all open data to the public at no cost
  • advocating for sound records management and data preservation practices
  • making recommendations to ensure that the purchase of new data processing devices, systems, and software by the State includes a review of compliance with the open data policy
Please contact the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) at service.desk@maryland.gov for more information.