State Data Plan, Technology Board, Review of Agency Data Required by Approved Legislation

Connecticut’s commitment to advancing the use of, and public access to, electronic data was nudged forward during the just-concluded legislative session. The legislature approval a plan to put into law – and expand – an Executive Order by Governor Malloy issued four years ago that had increasingly made open data a state government priority. The legislation establishes data requirements for executive branch agencies, including authorizing the state’s Chief Data Officer (CDO) to direct agencies on data-related topics, requiring a biennial state data plan, and establishing a Connecticut Data Analysis Technology Advisory Board.  It was approved without opposition by the House and Senate in the final week of the 2018 General Assembly session.

The plan authorizes the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to designate an existing employee to serve as the CDO to direct executive branch agencies on data use, management, sharing, coordination, and formulation of the state data plan and transparency plans. It also requires executive agencies to annually inventory their data assets and submit the inventory to OPM, and requires OPM to continue operating and maintaining the Open Data Portal.

In regard to executive branch agencies, the legislation defines “high value data” as any data that the department head determines can increase an agency's accountability and responsiveness, improve public knowledge of an agency and its operations, further its core mission, or create economic opportunity; is critical to the agency's operation, frequently requested by the public, or used to satisfy any legislative or other reporting requirements; or responds to a need and demand identified through public consultation.

So-called “protected data” means any data, the public disclosure of which would violate federal or state laws or regulations; endanger the public health, safety, or welfare; hinder the operation of the federal, state, or municipal government, including criminal and civil investigations; or impose an undue financial, operational, or administrative burden on the executive branch agency. It includes any records that are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Executive branch agencies will be required to designate one employee in each agency as the agency data officer, to serve as the agency point of contact for inquiries, requests, or concerns regarding access to data. The agencies must develop an open data access plan, in a form prescribed by OPM, and detail the agency's plan to publish, as open data, any public data that the agency has identified and any protected data that can be made public through aggregation, redaction of individually identifiable information, or other means sufficient to satisfy applicable state or federal law or regulation.

Non-executive branch agencies, quasi-public agencies, and municipalities would be permitted to voluntarily opt to comply with the open data provisions and requires OPM to publish on its website an updated list of all agencies that are complying with the policy, whether voluntarily or because they are mandated to do so. The state data plan can include recommendations concerning data management for the legislative or judicial branch agencies, but the recommendations are not binding on these agencies, according to analysis by the Office of Legislative Research.

The legislation (HB 5517) creates a 16-member Connecticut Data Analysis Technology Board to, among other things, advise the three branches of state government and municipalities on data policy.  The board members, to be appointed by legislative leaders by July 1, must have professional experience or academic qualifications in data analysis, management, policy, or related fields.  Ex-officio members are to include representatives of the Commissioner of Administrative Services, executive director of the Freedom of Information Commission, Attorney General, Chief Court Administrator, State Librarian, State Treasurer, Secretary of the State, State Comptroller and the state’s Chief Data Officer.  The Board’s first meeting would be this summer, and they will be required to meet at least twice annually.

By November 1, 2018 and every two years after, the new legislation requires the CDO to submit a preliminary draft of the plan to the Connecticut Data Analysis Technology Advisory Board which must then hold a public hearing.  A state data plan, to be completed by December 31, 2018 and biennially thereafter, requires inclusion of the information technology-related actions and initiatives of all executive branch agencies, including the acquisition of hardware and software and the development of software.  It is to include specific, achievable goals within the two years following adoption of the plan, as well as longer term goals and a timeline for a review of any state or federal legal concerns or other obstacles to the internal sharing of data among agencies, including security and privacy concerns.

The legislation also expands the scope of LEANCT, a statewide process improvement initiative as well as state agencies' ability to suspend paper filing or document service requirements when an electronic filing system is established.

Executive Order 39, the basis for many of the legislation’s provisions, established open data requirements for executive branch agencies and established the Connecticut Open Data Portal and the position of Chief Data Officer.  It was signed by Gov. Malloy in February 2014.

Northeast Homes are Older, Smaller than National Average

Applications for new home construction nationwide rose to a five-year high in April, offering evidence that the post-recession housing revival will be sustained, according to Associated Press reports on U.S. Commerce Department data.  Applications for building permits – considered an indicator of future demand - rose 14.3 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the highest since June 2008.

The new construction data builds on a home ownership foundation that varies across regions.  There are 76 million owner-occupied homes in the United States, and three-quarters of them are in metropolitan areas.  The breakdown:  22 percent in central cities, 36 percent in urban suburbs, 17 percent in rural suburbs and only 25 percent outside of metropolitan areas.home size

Not surprisingly, the oldest homes (51 years old on average) are found in the Northeast, where they are also 15 percent smaller than the national average; the newest homes are in the South – 27 percent larger than the national average and an average of 31 years old.  The average home in the west is 49 years old, in the Midwest 41 years old.

In Fairfield County, only 6.8 percent of homes were built after 2000, and in the entire state that figure is 7.1 percent, the Connecticut Post reported last month.

Nationwide, the median family home size has grown substantially in recent decades.  In 1982 it was 1,520 sq. ft.; by 2007, it was 2,227 sq. ft.

The data indicate an average of 2.6 people per household nationwide, with the percentage of households with children under age 18 greatest in the urban suburbs (37%), followed by rural suburbs (36%), central cities (33%) and those outside of metropolitan areas (30%).

The data, compiled by the websites of the National Association of Home Builders ( and, was featured in an infographic developed for Quicken Loans in partnership with Ghergich & Co.

The sites also compares Connecticut with national averages in key home-related categories:

  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $166,900 [National Average $119,600]
  • Median Price Asked for Housing Units: $136,500 [National Average $89,600]
  • Median Household Income: $53,935  [National Average: $41,994]
  • Median Family Income $65,521 [National Average: $50,046]
  • Per-Capita Income: $28,766 [National Average: $21,587]

U.S. Census data featured by the state Department of Economic and Community Development indicates that Connecticut has 1,371,087 housing units occupied, led by the cities with the largest number of occupied housing units:  Bridgeport 51,255, New Haven, 48,877; Stamford, 47,357; Hartford, 45,124, and Waterbury, 42,761.

Population Growth Through 2025 Driven by New Haven, Hartford, Fairfield Counties

Connecticut’s population, which was just under 3.3 million in 1990 and just over 3.5 million two decades later, is projected to exceed 3.7 million by 2025, according to Connecticut Population Projections featured on the University of Connecticut’s Connecticut State Data Center website.CT Map The interactive site provides a breakdown of projections for each of the state’s eight counties – and all are expected to grow during the next dozen years.  The most dramatic growth is anticipated in New Haven County, which is seen to exceed 900,000 residents for the first time by 2025.  The state population is predicted to increase by slightly more than 100,000 residents between 2015 and 2025.

Overall, the state’s population is expected to reach 3.66 million by 2015 and grow to 3.74 million by 2025.  Litchfield County will likely see the slowest growth, with less than an additional 1,000 residents anticipated over the decade.  Middlesex County is expected to grow by about 2,000 residents; Tolland County by nearly 5,000.  Windham County is expected to grow at twice the rate of New London County, as both are anticipating adding between 6,000 and 7,000 residents, although New London County has more than twice the population.

Here’s the breakdown by county of the projections:

County                   2015                       2025                       Projected growth

Fairfield                 932,378                 954,479                 22,101

Hartford                 910,921                 936,811                 25,890

New Haven            881,371                 912,057                 30,686

New London         279,756                 285,773                 6,017

Litchfield               192,189                 193,113                  924

Middlesex             168,834                 170,976                  2,142

Tolland                   155,924                 160,760                  4,836

Windham               122,719                 129,526                   6,807

Connecticut          3,644,546              3,746,184              101,638

The ranking of the state’s eight counties by population is not expected to change:  Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Litchfield, Middlesex, Tolland, and Windham.

The Connecticut State Data Center provides population projections to assist state agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, governments, and centers/organizations to identify potential population changes into the future. These projections are created based upon several datasets and while these estimates are developed based on multiple data sources, actual population changes may vary from these projections.