April 2, 2018

Guidance and processes City departments use in collaborating with vendors on technology projects

Meeting date: April 2, 2018 Meeting time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Location: Executive Session Room, City Hall 1st floor

Desired meeting outcomes

  • Progress on issues identified in previous meeting, and identify issues to delegate to working groups to prepare for future Advisory Committee meetings

  • Shared understanding of guidance on how departments collaborate and partner on technology projects

  • Approved first iteration of committee charter


I. Meeting overview and recap of Advisory Committee purpose

II. Key Issue: Collaborating with external partners

Context on current collaborations with external partners

Project case studies

  1. Affordable Housing Inventory

  2. Smart Second Street

  3. Smart kiosks


  • Given these types of project opportunities, how might we determine appropriate collaborations and partnerships for City projects?

  • How might we provide a pathway for intaking and evaluating vendor proposals for pilots or prototyping?

  • What guidance on law, ethics, and strategy would be beneficial for collaborations on technology projects?

IV. Lightning updates from Working Groups

V. Closing

  1. In the next 60 days, where do you need help, or where can you offer help?

  2. Recap of action items and future agenda items

  3. Next meeting: June 2018

Meeting notes

I. Meeting overview and recap of Advisory Committee purpose

Draft charter for the OSAC is available here.

II. Key Issue: Collaborating with external partners

Project case study: Affordable Housing Inventory

Project overview

  • City currently has an affordable housing inventory in open data that is not real time or user friendly.

  • 3 main sources of data: NHCD, Housing Authority properties (state entity), and market rate affordable housing.

  • Current project aims to merge the 3 sources of housing data to provide a real-time view into affordable housing options and availability.

  • Received $25k seed money in FY18 budget to get this started.

  • Collaboration with external partners has been beneficial in the access to expertise.


  • Challenge of integrating data. Austin does not have a singular registry for affordable housing like San Francisco.

  • Currently focused on making data more available and accessible so that a 3rd party might be able to develop an interface/application. NHCD lacks funding for development of an interface/application right now.

  • Planning for a RFP for application development. NHCD has engaged external partners in advisory roles for that RFP.

  • Issue of 3rd party assistance in the development of a competitive procurement. Potential for an advisor to an RFP to conflict themselves out of bidding on the RFP.

  • Another option = open challenge/competition centered on how we might get real time data to users that need to know where to go to find housing. Similar model to ReVerse Pitch competition hosted by ARR and Economic Development.

Project case study: Smart Second Street

Project overview:

  • Challenge of a lack of information on smart city activities on Second Street. Economic Development Department managed the development of Second Street. Governance of the project is not clear.

  • Ownership and management of data from sensors and other data collection on Second Street are not clear.

  • Desire for more communication to the Second Street retailers regarding data collection on the street.


  • Interest in looking into case studies in smart city governance from other cities: Kansas City, Chicago.

  • Collaborations with external partners are critical. Opportunity to pilot and prototype solutions outside of government, with more flexible procurement and technology processes.

  • The redesigned IT governance process can help with questions of data and information management and security.

  • Austin Transportation Department’s process for pilot/partnership requests offers some lessons for piloting with business partners.

Project case study: Smart kiosks

Project overview:

  • Many different vendors active in kiosk market.

  • The precise goals of kiosk projects are not clear. Using kiosks to provide public services (ex: city service information, public service announcements, bus times) is a different business model from promoting local business (ex: live music, restaurants, events around town). These have implications for funding models (ex: advertising vs. city contract) and how we evaluate success.


  • Funding models: Industry assumes they will fund kiosks through advertising -- that a city won’t pay for it outright. But if the kiosk helps with outcomes (ex: digital inclusion, health), then kiosks can serve a municipal purpose.

  • Need for prototyping and testing of kiosks to determine if they are successful at a small scale first.

  • Sign ordinance affects kiosk plans. Questions remain on how the sign ordinance applies to splash pages you receive on your phone for public wifi in parks.

III. Lightning updates from Working Groups

Governance working group (Elaine Nicholson)

Group has met twice to identify challenges related to legal and policy guidance. Working with Austin Transportation Department’s intake process to produce similar checklists and contractual language.

Emerging tech working group (Kerry O’Connor)

City was awarded $100K grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies for exploration of blockchain for identity management. Aim to share the process and learnings from this project.

Projects working group (Stephen Elkins)

Group has met to flesh out the scope and deliverables of the working group and how it relates to the other working groups. Interest in how we might prioritize smart city projects.

Equitable outcomes working group (John Speirs)

Currently in a process of discovery -- how might we produce equitable outcomes from smart city projects. Focusing on demographic data collection and the need to have disaggregated data to determine outcomes for different communities.

IV. Closing

Close loop on updated Advisory Committee charter

Approval of charter deferred to future meeting.

Recap of action items and future agenda items

  • Interest in Austin Transportation Department’s intake process.

  • Interest in clearer guidance on how departments can and should partner with external organizations.


  1. Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager (chair)

  2. Mark Washington, Assistant City Manager (co-chair)

  3. Stephen Elkins, Chief Information Officer

  4. Kerry O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer

  5. Brion Oaks, Chief Equity Officer

  6. Douglas Matthews, Chief Communications Director

  7. Kim Olivares, Chief Performance Officer

  8. Rondella Hawkins, Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Officer

  9. Greg Guernsey, Planning and Zoning Director

  10. Karla Taylor, Transportation Department

  11. David Andersen, Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services

  12. Ben Guhin, Communications and Technology Management

  13. Paul Cook, Communications and Technology Management

  14. Kirk Scanlon, Transportation Department

  15. Jill Goodman, Office of Performance Management

  16. Ted Lehr, Communications and Technology Management

  17. Christine Maguire, Economic Development Department

  18. Jason JonMichael, Transportation Department

  19. Josh Rudow, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department

  20. Stefan Wray, Austin Public Health

  21. Shannon Holbrook,

  22. Chris McConnell, Austin Code Department

  23. John Clary, Transportation Department

  24. Lewis Leff, Office of Sustainability

  25. Chris Weema, Law

  26. Yolanda Miller, Purchasing Office

  27. Kevin Williams, Communications and Technology Management

  28. Elaine Nicholson, Law

  29. Jamila Siller, Office of Performance Management

  30. John Speirs, Office of Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs

  31. Sabine Romero, Innovation Office

  32. Daniel Honker, Innovation Office

  33. Marni Wilhite, Communications and Technology Management