1.0 Operating Guidelines

1.1 Applicability

These guidelines are applicable to participants in the Open and Smart Advisory Committee -- previously chartered as the Open Government Operating Board.

1.2 Mission Statement

To coordinate and facilitate collaboration among City departments with regard to open government practices, emerging technologies, and the use of technology to increase transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration with internal and outside groups.

1.3 Purpose and Authority

The Open and Smart Advisory Committee is authorized by the City Manager to:

  • Facilitate and coordinate processes and projects across departments that seek to increase transparency, civic participation, and collaboration inside and outside the City government.

  • Cultivate expertise, human capital, and relationships inside and outside the City (e.g., with industry partners, community organizations, civic technology groups).

  • Assess and enhance the City’s readiness to evaluate and adopt emerging technologies that promote open government and collaboration with external partners.

  • Advise the City’s technology governance process on business needs in support of the Committee’s mission.

1.4 Responsibilities

  • Define and iterate the City’s vision, strategy, and practices regarding transparency, civic participation, internal and external collaboration, and smart city capabilities.

  • Define and oversee working relationships between the key departments involved in provisioning open data and information to the public. (Communications and Technology Management, Communications and Public Information Office, Performance Management Office, Law Department, Office of the City Clerk).

  • Define and oversee department participation in identifying, standardizing and releasing public information/data.

  • Define and oversee City participation and communication with community groups and businesses interested in open government issues.

  • Reduce barriers and facilitate collaboration efforts among departments and between City departments and external partners.

2.0 Membership and Roles

This charter organizes the members of the committee by the different perspectives departments offer on technology and open government issues.

2.1 Chair and Vice Chair

The Chair and Vice Chair are responsible for setting agendas, facilitating meetings, and ensuring the purpose of the Committee is achieved. The Chair of the Committee is appointed by the City Manager and may rotate between two participating Assistant City Managers. The alternate Assistant City Manager will act as Vice Chair.

  • City Manager’s designee, Chair: Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano

  • City Manager’s designee, Vice Chair: (Open as of September 2018)

2.2 Executive members

Executive members responsible for identifying and prioritizing needs and challenges facing projects, aligning projects to city-wide goals, and providing guidance and advice to project teams. Executive members are voting members. Executive members include the following directors and officers with oversight on cross-departmental issues of technology and strategy:

  • Chief Communications Director

  • Chief Equity Officer

  • Chief Information Officer

  • Chief Information Security Officer

  • Chief Innovation Officer

  • Chief Performance Officer

  • Chief Sustainability Officer

  • Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs Officer

2.3 Operational representatives

Operational representatives provide insight on ongoing projects, departmental capabilities and challenges, and technical advice. Operational representatives include representatives of the following departments:

  • Austin Energy

  • Austin Water Utility

  • Code Department

  • Development Services Department

  • Planning and Zoning Department

  • Public Works Department

  • Transportation Department

Other departmental representatives may join on an opt-in basis.

2.4 Support services representatives

Support services representatives advise on citywide rules and standards and on technical issues that impact successful open government and technology practices, including security, procurement, law, and policy. Support services representatives include designees from the City’s mission support offices:

  • City Clerk

  • Digital Inclusion program

  • Human Resources Department

  • Law Department

  • Open Data program

  • Purchasing Office

2.5 Facilitating staff

Facilitating staff assist the Chair and Vice Chair in setting meeting agendas, gathering information from participating departments, and managing meeting logistics and knowledge sharing across participating departments. Facilitating staff include designated staff from participating departments.

3.0 Processes

3.1 Voting

The Chair, Vice Chair, and executive members are each voting members (one vote per member). Each department named as an Operational Representative or Support Representative, but not already represented by an executive member, may cast one vote.

Committee decisions and recommendations will be made by majority vote of voting members unless otherwise provided in this Charter.

Committee decisions and recommendations will be documented in writing.

3.2 Meeting frequency

Committee meetings will take place at least quarterly. However, the Chair or majority of the Committee may call ad hoc meetings.

3.3 Working groups

The Committee may form working groups to address specific areas of interest or projects related to open government or emerging technology. The working groups will be led by a Committee member and can tap into resources and subject matter experts from across the City to achieve specific goals.

4.0 Reporting

The Chair, or designee, will periodically provide summary reports or updates to the following bodies:

  • The Austin City Council and its appropriate committees.

  • The Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission and its appropriate working groups or committees.

  • The City Manager’s Office, as a standing item on the City Manager’s Office meeting agenda.

  • The City of Austin’s technology governance process.

5.0 Approval

Charter approved October 30, 2018 by Chair Rey Arellano.

Here is a previous version of the charter used during drafting and revision.

6.0 Revision history

Want to suggest updates? All this content is on github.

Date updated

Version number

Description of change

October 2013

Version 0.0

Founding charter of the Open Government Operating Board (as directed in the 2013 Open Government Directive)

January 17, 2018

Version 0.1 DRAFT

Changed name of group from Open Government Operating Board to Open and Smart Advisory Committee to reflect advisory role in smart cities (technology) projects

Purpose and Authority section revised to reflect designation from the City Manager (previously was designated under the Information Technology Steering Committee)

Updated description of the committee’s purpose and responsibilities to reflect its advisory role in technology projects

Reformatted charter layout

Draft version of charter is archived online here.

March 13, 2018

Version 0.2 DRAFT

Reorganized charter to position purpose and scope at beginning. No changes to content.

September 28, 2018

Version 0.3 DRAFT

Purpose and Authority and Reporting sections updated to reflect how the Committee relates to the City’s technology governance process.

Updates to Membership and Roles section:

- Vice Chair changed to open to reflect Assistant City Manager Mark Washington’s departure

- Voting roles clarified for each set of members

- Added department representatives (Public Works, Development Services, Planning and Zoning)

- Reformatted section for readability

Revised Reporting section for readability

October 30, 2018

Version 1.0

Charter approved