January 22, 2018

Identifying focus areas for open and smart portfolio in 2018

Meeting date: January 22, 2018 Meeting time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Location: CMO Conference Room, City Hall 3rd floor

Desired meeting outcomes

  • Feedback on updated charter for Open and Smart Advisory Committee

  • Identification of potential focus areas for open and smart portfolio in 2018


I. Context: Where we’ve been and where we are (30 min)

  • Accomplishments in past year

  • Update on IT intake process redesign

  • Discuss updated charter for Advisory Committee

II. Opportunities to align Open and Smart in 2018 (30 min)

  • Alignment with strategic plan

  • Open Government Partnership and project tracker

III. Discuss potential focus areas for this group in 2018 (60 min)

Open issues from previous meetings

Last meeting: October 30, 2017 (link to notes)

  • Coordination with Government That Works outcome team: Exploring how these initiatives can complement one another

  • Open Government Partnership: Update and next steps for transparency, participation, innovation, and accountability commitments

  • Projects in the smart/open inventory: Highlight partnering and financing opportunities

  • Stakeholder relationships and partnerships: Determining appropriate guidance (legal, ethical, strategic) for relationships, informed by current activities and policy.

  • Unsolicited proposals: Understanding process for considering pitches to the City and navigating considerations related to law, finance, partnering, etc.

  • Grant writing capabilities: Exploring the role of grants in funding smart cities projects, and the City’s existing and potential capabilities

  • Security policy: Addressing needs for technology security policy across departments

Meeting notes

Updated charter for Open and Smart Advisory Committee


I. Context: Where we’ve been and where we are

Accomplishments in past year

ACM Arellano opened the meeting by recapping the intended purpose of redesigning this group to become an advisory body for open government and smart cities projects. There was reflection on these projects and how these processes compliment the IT process. A goal is to assist those projects that need assistance not decide what projects what move forward. (More information on the intent for the group here.)

Update on IT intake process redesign

Khalil Shalabi provided an update on the IT intake process going through the IT steering committee, this is a collaboration with CTM and Innovation office. The process evaluates how CTM takes in work, prioritizes needs, and to support implementation. Many of smart city projects will be implemented under CTM management. These projects represent the same resources as smart city projects. A need has been identified to filter to the right criteria and to market and channel this process to all departments.

There was discussion on the channels for evaluation of the projects, including equity, and the need for metrics to demonstrate the overall impact of this process.

Discuss updated charter for Advisory Committee

ACM Arellano introduced the updated charter to the Advisory Committee and asked the group to access the shared document and suggest edits before the next meeting.

II. Opportunities to align Open and Smart in 2018

Alignment with strategic plan

Jill Goodman provided an update on the Council Strategic Plan serving organizational focus areas and goals for the next 3-5 years. The intent is to support City Council and staff work from one single playbook, all working together to a clear set of priorities. These priorities are represented by six outcomes that the City Council wants all residents to experience.

There was discussion on the alignment of the Advisory Committee to the Strategic Plan, and the data needed to report to Council on progress toward outcomes.

Open Government Partnership and project tracker

Marni Wilhite provided an update on the work from year to show benefits for coordinating open government efforts across departments. There is an opportunity for alignment between OGP commitments and solving key city challenges in 2018-2019. The example provided could involve a subset of strategies from the strategic plan and form OGP commitments around them. This could result in even more alignment, and could focus on exploring opportunities to use smart tech to solve for those strategies (and do discovery to examine the risks, unintended consequences, equity implications of a smart tech solution).

Marni also provided an update on the prototype of the project tracking tool designed to give people a transparent view into City government projects in Austin. This project seeks to make it easier for people in Austin to have a sense of what projects the City is working on, the state of progress of those projects, how the projects relate to critical goals, and how they are funded. More specifically, staff is committed to build an online project tracking tool people can use to find this information.

III. Discuss potential focus areas for this group in 2018

The committee identified 4 focus areas to create working groups. Below is the detail and lead for each of these groups.


  • Lead - Elaine Nicholson

  • Topics of interest

    • Public/Private Partnerships

    • Unsolicited Vendors

    • Grant Writing Capabilities

Equitable outcomes

  • Lead - John Speirs

  • Lead - (representative from Equity office TBD)

Open and Smart Projects

  • Lead - Stephen Elkins

  • Topics of interest

    • Digital Services - findings and approach to providing services to residents

    • Open Data - policies/risks/rewards

    • Paperless Initiative - insight findings and what's next

Emerging Technologies

  • Lead - Kerry O'Connor

  • Topics of interest

    • Block Chain

    • Smart buildings and resource management

    • VR

    • AI

    • Smart infrastructure


  1. Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager (chair)

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

  3. Stephen Elkins, Chief Information Officer

  4. Rondella Hawkins, Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Officer

  5. Doug Matthews, Chief Communications Director

  6. Kerry O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer

  7. Kevin Williams, Chief Information Security Officer

  8. Ainee Athar, Innovation

  9. Paul Cook, CTM

  10. Matt Esquibel, CTM

  11. Jannette Goodall, City Clerk

  12. Ted Lehr, CTM

  13. Elaine Nicholson, Law

  14. Sabine Romero, Innovation

  15. Khalil Shalabi, AE/3-1-1

  16. John Speirs, TARA

  17. Chris Stewart, AWU

  18. Karla Taylor, ATD

  19. Wendi White, CTM

  20. Marni Wilhite, CTM