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Małgorzata Czaja becames the representative of the Mayor of Gdynia for open data, Source: Przemysław Kozłowski / Gdynia.pl

Gdynia – first city in Poland to employ a Chief Data Officer

Gdynia – first city in Poland to employ a Chief Data Officer

The Polish city is rapidly expanding its collection of open data

On Tuesday, 6 July, Gdynia appointed its first Chief Data Officer (CFO). She will be responsible for the coordination of the activities of different municipal units, with regard to the city's open data. The need for this is justified by the constant expansion of the public open data resources and makes Gdynia the first city in Poland to employ a person for such a job.

What does a Chief Data Officer do?

Due to the increasing volume of open data sources in Gdynia (which grew by over 40 new collections in the last 18 months), the local government decided to appoint the first Chief Data Officer for a city in Poland. Thus, earlier this week Małgorzata Czaja became the first municipal administrator to be entrusted with the task by the Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek.

Chief Data Officer is a term originating in the corporate world and referring to the person responsible for the governance and utilisation of data. He determines what kind of information his entity collects, stores, and uses, how this should be done and to what purposes.

Said officer is a very important member of the management of a large organisation, even if many companies still do not have such a position. The CDO usually reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The same goes at the municipal level – the CDO of Gdynia will be a plenipotentiary of the President (as the mayors of large Polish cities are known) and will report directly to him or her.

The tasks of the President's plenipotentiary for open data will include obtaining, adapting and publishing Gdynia’s public data collections, certification of the city in the field of ISO standards and preparation of reports on the quality of life.

The CDO is also to ensure the supervision of the data published on the Open Data website www.otwartedane.gdynia.pl and the educational indicators available at www.edukacja.gdynia.pl. Moreover, she will also deal with internal employee training in the field of data opening and the organization of events promoting open data. One of the main responsibilities will also be the search for tools that use the data published on the portal, as this may have an impact on improving city services.

Currently, the most popular data sets are related to road traffic data and to projects implemented with the participation of European funds.

Małgorzata Czaja has been fulfilling the tasks entrusted to her for 6 years. Open data that we share in Gdynia requires special care. Residents can be sure that it is difficult to find a better coordinator and guardian who watches over the access and security of data,” commented Mayor Wojciech Szczurek, as quoted on the city website.

Ms Czaja herself stated that, since 2017, Gdynia has been gradually developing the city portal with new collections and new suppliers and is currently one of the leaders among Polish cities in opening their data. However, she still saw many challenges ahead of the city administration and promised to work for greater transparency.

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