Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 6, 2013. For updates on Open Data, communications network upgrades and other projects, visit our Performance Dashboard.

TO:                 Honorable Board of Supervisors

FROM:           John L. Maltbie, County Manager

SUBJECT:      Measure A Report Back: Open Data and Network Infrastructure


Direct staff to authorize Measure A funding to:

1)            Create an Open Data Portal and Performance Dashboards in the amount of $460,000; and

2)            Upgrade and improve the County wired and wireless networks to better support new technology such as Cloud Computing, Voice Over IP, Public WiFi Access, Disaster Readiness, new online solutions in the amount of $6,000,000.


Open Data and Performance dashboards are important initiatives that are necessary to improve access to data and enhance government transparency and accountability. On January 29, 2013, the Board of Supervisors passed Resolution No. 072343 directing the County Manager and Chief Information Officer to develop an Open Data Policy and reporting process. The Resolution stated the County’s commitment to transparency in government by declaring that all Departments would designate a liaison and provide appropriate Departmental data sets for inclusion on the County’s Open Data Portal. The Open Data Policy was created and published on March 7, 2013.

The communication network infrastructure (wiring,routers, telephone pbx’s, data switches, etc.) are critical components to deliver data and voice across applications and support technology services such as data, internet, radio, and phones services.. The communication network is effectively the road that transports all the various technologies. What we have in the county currently is a very small road in very poor condition. By upgrading the network we will have a well-designed and high capacity transportation system capable of supporting much more traffic.


Projects Proposed for Measure A Funding

The projects proposed for Measure A funding will provide better access to public data and a better designed network.

Open Data and Performance Dashboards - $460,000

Currently, county data is either difficult to access or situated in different locations. The Open Data Project will enable internal partner departments and external public to access, view, and work with county data. It will also be the visual performance dashboard for how well county departments are meeting their stated goals. Information Services Department (ISD) will maintain the contract for Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, Socrata, to maintain the system and will also assist departments in training and technical advice on how to use the system. Departments will train staff to upload public data to the site. The data that will be available on the site ( will be a valuable resource for the public and departments to share and collaborate on data analyses. Additionally the Open Data site will provide the building blocks for the creation of community generated applications via Hack-a- thons and other community volunteer coding events. The Performance Dashboards will provide a valuable tool for departments to track and illustrate the performance of various programs to deliver services and achieve measureable goals.

Upgrade Communications Network -- $6,000,000

Due to the age of the current network equipment (switches, routers, firewalls, etc.) and the design of the network, the capacity to provide good data service daily is limited. These limitations significantly impact the ability of ISD and Departments to implement new  technology and solutions. A robust, stable and high bandwidth network is a critical factor in  the success of all county departments, both for the operations of the current IT system and for new projects presently under implementation. The current network system is outdated, and therefore not capable of supporting the availability needed, nor is it designed to support a high quality of services of the new cloud, virtual, public WiFi, and mobile technologies that are currently under development. The result of the recommended upgrade will be a new high capacity and resilient network designed to support current and future technologies.

If the recommendation to authorize Measure A funds to implement these projects are approved then funding for equipment and supplemental staff to implement these projects will be included in the FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15 Recommended Budgets.

Approval of this request supports the County’s Shared Vision 2025 goal of a Collaborative Community by creating an Open Data platform, Performance Dashboards, and a new Communications Network, all of which will support a more transparent government.

Performance Measures:



FY 2012-13


FY 2017-18


# of datasets available on the Open Data Platform



Core network speed



# of WiFi access sites




It is recommended that Measure A funding be used to fund the creation of an Open Data Portal, Performance Dashboards, and modern Communication Network Infrastructure.

Measure A funds recommended in this report:


FY 2013/14

FY 2014/15

Open Data and Performance Dashboards



Network Communications Network






Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 8A on the Board's agenda.