RFEI: Public Access to New York City Government Data & Related Software Application Competition – June 29, 2009

I. Background

One of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s priorities during his administration has been to make government and, in particular, the government of The City of New York (the “City”) more transparent, accessible and accountable. In furtherance thereof, the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (“DoITT”) has led several important initiatives in this area, including the creation of New York City’s 311 Citizen Service Center, a Citywide customer service call center, providing non-emergency, 24/7 access to government information and services.

Another administration priority is to diversify New York City’s economy. Part of this effort involves improving the culture of innovation and strengthening the information technology and digital media sectors of the New York City business community. New York City Economic Development Corporation (“NYCEDC”) is leading several initiatives in this area, including Media NYC 2020, a dialogue with the private sector to devise strategies to maintain and stimulate employment in the City’s media and information technology business sectors.

In support of the City’s efforts to strengthen the City’s technology and media business communities, NYCEDC, in collaboration with DoITT, is planning to stage an annual software competition. Contestants will be asked to develop functional digital applications that will facilitate the dissemination of and greater access to publicly available City data. The actual terms and conditions of the competition are still being developed, including what, if any, prizes may be awarded. It is currently contemplated that the prizes might include cash awards and offers for the provision of commercial space for business expansion at discounted rates. At a bare minimum, all participants, especially winners, are likely to benefit from the publicity garnered as a result of the competition and, possibly, as a result of any actual use of the winning software by the City. It is contemplated that NYCEDC will run the competition logistics and promotion and that DoITT will coordinate the release of selected City data to the public.

The information and data to be released to the public has yet to be determined. Any final determination as to the information and data to be released will be made by the City, taking into consideration the interests of constituents, legal and privacy considerations and any resource constraints in transitioning data from legacy systems to a usable format. Examples of the types of data that might be made available include, without limitation, 311 data, transportation data, parks and other events data and information regarding buildings located in the City.

Respondents to this RFEI can help the City decide how to prioritize the release of City data to the public by describing the type of City government data and information and the level of data they would like to have access to and how it could be used.

II. RFEI Purposes

In summary, NYCEDC has issued this RFEI to:

  1. solicit input, comments and suggestions from the public at large as to City government information and data it would like to see made available and the extent and proposed uses therefor; and
  2. gauge interest in the proposed software application competition and better understand the types of applications that might be developed as part of that competition and, perhaps, later utilized to provide City government information and data to the public.
III. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of this RFEI are to:

  1. advance the initiative to make City government more transparent, accessible and accountable; and
  2. stimulate innovation in the technology information and business media sectors of the New York City business community that could lead to new businesses and job creation.
IV. Submittal Requirements
A. Content.

Respondents to this RFEI are requested to submit written descriptions of City-related data they would like to see made public. These descriptions should provide as much detail as possible about the type and level of data desired. In addition, respondents are requested to describe how they envision the data being used in software applications. Software applications should ideally:

  1. provide a useful service to residents, visitors and government;
  2. facilitate City government transparency, accessibility and accountability;
  3. provide visualization, analytics, data analysis and ease of use;
  4. be web or mobile application compatible
  5. be based on a widely used and accessible platform including, for example, but not limited to:
    • Google App Engine
    • Facebook
    • iPhone
    • Google Maps/Earth mashup
    • Amazon EC2, S3
    • RSS/Atom Feeds.
B. Respondents’ Information

Please be sure to provide contact information including, without limitation, the following:

Name (Individual and/or Business)
Telephone Number
E-mail Address

This information may be kept for statistical purposes only, unless you specifically indicate in writing that you consent to make this information available so that you may be contacted in the future.

C. Submissions

1. All submittals (“Submittals”) must be in writing and delivered by-hand, regular mail or by a nationally recognized express mail carrier to NYCEDC at the address listed in Section IV.C.2 below. Respondents should keep in mind that nothing will be deemed confidential and will likely be shared with other governmental entities. Therefore, please do not submit anything that you deem proprietary information. Furthermore, all submissions become the property of NYCEDC and the City and will not be returned. 2. Please submit four (4) copies of your Submittal by Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. (the “Submittal Deadline”). Submittals must be delivered to the following:

New York City Economic Development Corporation
110 William St, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Attn: Maryann Catalano, Senior Vice President
D. Questions/Clarifications

Questions pertaining to this RFEI may be sent to NYCDataRFEI@nycedc.com by Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 5:00 PM. Answers to all questions, shall be posted on www.NYCEDC.com/RFEI by Friday, July 24, 2009.

V. Conditions, Terms and Limitations

This document is not intended as a formal offering for the award of a contract or for participation in any future solicitation. NYCEDC and the City reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to withdraw the RFEI; to choose to discuss various approaches with one or more respondents (including those not responding to the RFEI); to use the ideas or proposals submitted in any manner deemed to be in the best interests of NYCEDC and the City, including but not limited to soliciting competitive submissions relating to such ideas or proposals; and/or undertake the prescribed work in a manner other than that which is set forth herein. NYCEDC and the City likewise reserve the right, at any time, to change any terms of the RFEI.