Pennsylvania governor orders open data portal

The executive order also calls for the state to create an advisory committee that will establish a data management framework for agencies.

Pennsylvania announced plans to establish a new portal for machine-readable government data. 

In an executive order signed Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf tasks the Pennsylvania Office of Administration with creating an advisory committee that will establish data management standards for the state’s agencies and that will set up a repository where the public can access the state’s open data. 

The portal will include data related to schools, jobs and government efficiency, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich.

“There is a lot of open data out there, but not all of it is downloaded,” Minnich said in an email. “We want to make sure that the data sets we publish have value to other people.”


State officials plan to work with local universities and cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which set up their own data portals, to determine how to move forward. 

“In many cases, state agencies have data [that] can supplement what is being collected at the local level,” Minnich said. 

In a release, Wolf said he hopes that researchers and citizens will use the portal to find ways to make the state more efficient and effective. 

“One of our most valuable and underutilized resources in state government is data,” Wolf said in a press release. “Our goal is to make data available in order to engage citizens, create economic opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, and develop innovative policy solutions that improve program delivery and streamline operations.”

The Wolf administration’s open data policy will be published and open for comment. The order, though effective immediately, does not provide a timeline for implementation.


Contact the reporter who wrote this story at or follow him on Twitter @JakeWilliamsDC.

Jake Williams

Written by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is a Staff Reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop. At StateScoop, he covers the information technology issues and events at state and local governments across the nation. In the past, he has covered the United States Postal Service, the White House, Congress, cabinet-level departments and emerging technologies in the unmanned aircraft systems field for FedScoop. Before FedScoop, Jake was a contributing writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has had work published in the Huffington Post and several regional newspapers and websites in Pennsylvania. A northeastern Pennsylvania native, Jake graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or IUP, in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. At IUP, Jake was the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Penn, and the president of the university chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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