Gathering Data

Kevin Schiroo edited this page Nov 23, 2016 · 10 revisions

How do we get data?

Minnesota statutes chapter 13 makes Government data public unless there is a good reason for it to be private. In 13.43 it addresses personnel data specifically, declaring information such as name, salary, job title and more to be public.

Because of this law all we need to do is ask the right person, called the responsible authority. All government entities need to have one, it's just a matter of finding them.

Sample Email

Positive approach

Target: Specifically focus on those that have the authority to make these decisions for themselves. The public relations contact point or elected officials would be good focus. We are not making a chapter 13 request here, we asking them to make it available to us because they think it should be available.

Subject: <entity_name>'s role in government transparency

Hi <their_name>,

My name is <your_name>. I'm <your_role at mnpay.org, an Open Twin Cities project. We are a group dedicated to civic technology and government transparency in Minnesota. As I'm sure you know government personnel payroll data is considered public by the Minnesota Government Practices Act. Unfortunately, if the public actually wants to see it they often need to submit a Chapter 13 request. This is onerous, time consuming, and confrontational for both the person asking and the entity filling the request. We are gathering these data sets together and hosting them in a searchable format online at mnpay.org with the goal of better serving the citizens of Minnesota.

<entity_name> strives to be a leader in <the_ways_they_lead> across Minnesota and now we are asking you to lead once more. We are asking you to release this data set and make it public by default. The state of Minnesota has already started doing this, making their records from 2011 to 2015 easily downloadable online. If you provide us with the data, we will host it, making it available for all.

We believe it is critical that these records be open and accessible to the public. They serve both to further government accountability, and to show the government's commitment to fair wages.

Can we count on <entity_name> to be a leader here?

<your_name>

Fall back approach

Subject: Personnel Data Request

Hi,

I'm writing to request electronic copies of the following pieces of information for all former and current <entity_name> employees not excluded under M.S. 13.43 sub 5 or sub 5a for all years that it is readily available.

  • name
  • employee identification number
  • actual gross salary
  • job title
  • dept/division to which they report
  • year

Prior to filling this, please inform me of approximate costs that may be incurred.

Thanks!

<name>

Priority list

Please make a note in the Request Log if you have contacted any of these government entities.

  • Minnesota Senate
  • Minnesota House
  • Ramsey County
  • Anoka County
  • Hennepin County
  • Dakota County
  • Metropolitan Council
  • City of Minneapolis
  • City of Saint Paul
  • University of Minnesota
  • City of Rochester
  • City of Bloomington
  • City of Duluth
  • City of Brooklyn Park
  • City of Plymouth

Contact info

State entities

Entity Name Phone number Website Notes
Minnesota State mn.gov
Minnesota Senate Wendy Dwyer 651-296-1223 Might be outdated
Minnesota House Kelly Knight 651-296-0297 Might be outdated
UMN umn.edu This is a media link

Counties

Entity Name Phone number Email Website Notes
Dakota co.dakota.mn.us May need to use public data request
Ramsey John Siqveland john.siqveland@CO.RAMSEY.MN.US Might be outdated, media guy
Anoka Martha Weaver 763-323-5744 martha.weaver@co.anoka.mn.us Might be outdated
Washington Yvonne Klinnert 651-430-6026 Yvonne.Klinnert@co.washington.mn.us Might be outdated, Public Information Coordinator/Webmaster

Cities

Entity Name Phone number Email Website Notes
Saint Paul stpaul.gov Probably need to make a public data request
Minneapolis Casper Hill casper.hill@minneapolismn.gov May be outdated, this won't include police or parks board.

Other

Entity Name Phone number Email Website Notes
Met Council Bonnie Kollodge 651-602-1357 bonnie.kollodge@metc.state.mn.us Might be outdated
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