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Commission on Ethics Partners W/ Open NY to Increase Transparency


More than 158.9 million lobbying data entries maintained by the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (Commission or COELIG) are now available on the Open NY data platform, Executive Director Sanford N. Berland announced today. The Commission made the data available in the Open NY data platform to increase accessibility to the Commission’s comprehensive lobbying data while promoting transparency in government.

Open NY will host Commission data from 2019 through the current year, including information on lobbying compensation and expenses, lobbying topics and issues, and who entities are lobbying. Open NY allows users to filter and create visualizations of data and features detailed data dictionaries with plain language explanations.

“Allowing the public, reporters, and researchers to access the millions of lobbying records we maintain in an open data platform increases transparency about those who are interacting with government officials and with what purpose,” Executive Director Sanford N. Berland said. “We are grateful to our partners at the Office of Information Technology Services, who administer Open NY, for working with us to make this invaluable data project possible.”

“Open NY is an incredible resource for engaged citizens, good government groups, and other interested parties,” Chair Frederick A. Davie said. “Adding data to the website on the individuals, entities, expenditures, and activities of lobbyists and their clients offers insight into those who seek to influence state government. Providing access to this meaningful information is an important step for achieving open government and regaining public trust.”

COELIG’s datasets contain approximately 159 million records, while the Lobbyist Bi-Monthly Reports dataset alone contains over 122 million records making it the largest single dataset hosted on Open NY. The following datasets are now available:

· Lobbyist Statements of Registration

· Public Corporation Statements of Registration

· Lobbyist Bi-Monthly Reports

· Public Corporation Bi-Monthly Reports

· Client Semi-Annual Reports

· Disbursement of Public Monies Bi-Monthly Reports

Built-in analytics tools provide numerous data filter and sort options, the ability to retrieve data, and more advanced data visualization tools that enable users to create custom charts and graphs. Open NY provides a series of one-to-two-minute “quick start” videos to demonstrate the basics of effectively searching datasets and creating visualizations, among other functions.

To help in effective data handling and navigation of the millions of data points, detailed data dictionaries are available with plain language explanations and meaningful descriptions of the type of data reported in each filing. Users will find information describing the contents, format, and structure of each data set so users may discern the most effective way of using the data for their purposes. The Commission anticipates updating the data on Open NY at least every six months.

The Commission will continue to host real-time public lobbying data on its website, including the Public Search Query (PSQ).

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