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The Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) was created in 1989 to improve the public’s access to city information. COPIC’s mission is to educate the public about the availability and usefulness of information produced or maintained by the city, and to periodically review the city’s information policies and compliance with local laws related to the public’s access to information.

COPIC is also responsible for publishing an annual Data Directory of all the computerized information produced or maintained by the city that is required by law to be publicly accessible. The directory is intended to help the public understand what information is being compiled by city agencies and the purpose for which it is kept, and to instruct the public on how they can request access to such information. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, COPIC has been unable to produce the annual Data Directory since 1993.

In 2012, the New York City Council enacted the first open data legislation in the nation. The intent of the city’s Open Data law is to make the information produced or maintained by the city available to the public to the greatest extent practicable. However, not all of the city’s information is subject to Open Data, and that is why the annual Data Directory continues to be an important tool for the public.

The acting Public Advocate will work with city agencies to publish the city’s first annual Data Directory in 25 years.