FCC Launches Data Initiative, Announces New Positions

Lora Bentley

With an eye toward improving transparency in government and as part of its effort to "modernize and streamline how it collects, uses and disseminates data," the Federal Communications Commission launched the Data Innovation Initiative this week.


Announcing the project Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said:

The Data Innovation Initiative will accelerate the FCC's progress toward becoming a model for excellence in 21st Century government. Building on the exemplary work of our strategy planning and new media teams, I expect that the data team will both streamline and open up our data processes, institutionalizing positive change at the FCC.

Greg Elin, formerly the FCC's associate managing director of new media, has been appointed as the agency's first chief data officer. Elin will lead a team consisting of chief data officers from the Wireless, Wireline and Media Bureaus, as well as representatives from the agency's Office of Managing Director, International Bureau, Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau, Office of Strategic Planning, Office of General Counsel and the Office of Engineering and Technology.


To start the project, the Wireless, Wireline and Media Bureaus are requesting public comment on which of their data collections should be eliminated, what new collections should be added and how to improve the rest.


Also this week, Genachowski appointed Douglas C. Sicker as the agency's chief technologist. Formerly an associate professor of computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he will "reside" in the agency's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy, the agency says.

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