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Importance of the Initiative

Chapter 679 of the 2018 Acts of Assembly established the Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth (Chief Data Officer) and the Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee).  Both were charged with the development of a permanent data sharing and analytics governance structure for the Commonwealth.  The Advisory Committee’s “Data Sharing and Analytics Governance Structure for the Commonwealth of Virginia Report” recommends establishing a Virginia Data Commission, Executive Data Board, Data Governance Council, and Data Stewards Group to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Promote and facilitate, subject to all applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations, the secure and appropriate sharing and use of data assets of the Commonwealth in support of data-drive policymaking, research, analysis, study, and economic development;
  • Maximize the value and utility of Commonwealth data related investments and assets;
  • Promote increased data sharing between state agencies and localities providing tangible operational improvements assisting state agencies and localities in fulfilling their missions in a more coordinated, cost-efficient manner;
  • Leverage government data, using appropriate security and privacy standards, supporting evidenced-based policymaking addressing high priority public policy issues; and
  • Provide for public access to certain data assets, where lawful and appropriate, enhancing research, innovation, and insight.

Through this Executive Order, I call on leaders across state government to review current state goals, performance objectives, and outcome measures and recommend solutions that will make Virginia a national leader in data-driven policy, evidence-based decision-making, and outcome-based performance management.   

Establishment of the Commission

Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby establish the Commonwealth of Virginia Data Commission (Commission).  The Commission will play a critical role in Virginia’s data governance framework by assisting the Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth to set, plan, and prioritize data sharing performance goals for the Commonwealth, review agency accomplishments, and  achieve desired performance goals and objectives. 

Composition of the Commission

The Commission shall be chaired by the Chief Data Officer.  Membership shall include the following individuals or their designees: 

  • The Auditor of Public Accounts;
  • The Chief Workforce Advisor to the Governor;
  • Secretary of Administration;
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources;
  • Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security;
  • Secretary of Finance;
  • Secretary of the Commonwealth;
  • Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry;
  • Secretary of Natural Resources;
  • Secretary of Commerce and Trade;
  • Secretary of Education;
  • Secretary of Defense and Veterans Affairs;
  • Secretary of Transportation; and
  • Seven non-legislative citizen members to be appointed by the Governor each representing one of seven geographic regions within the state.

The non-legislative citizen members shall be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The chair may invite other members of state government to participate in Commission meetings as he deems necessary.

Responsibilities of the Commission

The Commission’s responsibilities shall include the following:

  • Study, report and make recommendations to the Governor on all areas of data governance, quality, sharing, analytics, reporting, intelligence, and performance management;
  • Advise and assist the Chief Data Officer to set, plan, prioritize, and review data and outcome performance goals and objectives to improve operational efficiency, increase delivery of customer-centered services, and promote better outcomes for constituents;
  • Make recommendations to the Governor on performance goals and objectives requiring engagement from organizations across state government; and
  • Cooperate with local governments and governmental agencies.

Establishment of the Board

The Chief Data Officer shall have the authority to convene the Executive Data Board (Board). 

Composition of the Board

The Chief Data Officer shall chair the Board and select its membership.  The Board, however, shall consist of executive leadership, or their designees, from executive branch agencies engaged in data sharing and analytics projects.

Responsibilities of the Board

The Board shall: 

  • Translate the Commonwealth’s data-driven policy goals and objectives to agency performance targets;
  • Allocate appropriate agency resources to support data governance, sharing, and analytics initiatives; and  
  • Provide to the Commission any reports on the Board’s recommendations and work as required by the Commission.

Establishment of the Council

The Chief Data Officer shall chair the Data Governance Council (Council).

Composition of the Council

The Board shall select the members of the Council.  The Council, however, shall consist of employees of the state agencies represented on the Board.

Responsibilities of the Council

The Council shall:

  •  Liaise between state agency operations and the Chief Data Officer;
  • Advise the Chief Data Officer on technology, policy, and governance strategies;
  • Administer data governance policies, standards, and best practices as set by the Board;
  • Implement data sharing and analytics projects;
  • Review open data assets; and
  • Provide to the Board any reports on the Council’s recommendations and work as required by the Board.

Support of the Commission, Board, and Council

Staff support for the work of the Commission, Board, and Council shall be provided by the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Secretary of Administration.  An estimated 500 hours of staff time will be required to support this work.

The Commission shall commence its work promptly and suggest legislative and budgetary proposals that will enable the implementation of any identified recommendations.  The Commission shall provide an annual report to the Governor no later than December 1st of each year.  The Commission shall issue such other reports and recommendations as necessary or as requested by the Governor.


Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon signing and shall remain in force and effect for one year, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 7th day of January, 2020.