Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea launched an online tool Thursday designed to help Rhode Islanders access open government information filed with the Department of State. The Open Government Interactive is Rhode Island’s first interactive data visualization and focuses on data filed in the Department of State’s Lobby Tracker Database and Public Meetings Portal.
“So much information is filed with the Department of State, information that can empower Rhode Islanders to move our great state forward. I am releasing the Open Government Interactive to connect Rhode Islanders with their government and offer insight on the public data and information they have access to,” Secretary Gorbea said.
The tool illustrates the numbers and types of lobbyists registered in Rhode Island; the number and types of organizations that hire lobbyists in the state; and the number of lobbying relationships relative to legislative topics.
The Open Government Interactive also highlights data about Public Meetings in Rhode Island. The state’s Open Meetings law requires most governmental bodies to post meeting notices and agendas in the Public Meetings Portal at least 48 hours in advance. While the General Assembly is exempt from the law, the House and the Senate do issue meeting notices in accordance with their own rules and this data is also reflected in the Interactive.
The Open Government Interactive was developed by Department of State personnel. All data published is from 2011-2015.
“It is my belief that government must be effective, transparent, and accountable to the people it serves in order to succeed. Part of this transparency comes with the general public having access to information about meetings happening among our government bodies and knowledge of who is lobbying their elected officials,” Secretary Gorbea said.