Montréal Directive on Data Governance

This document sets out Montréal Directive on Data Governance. Should any discrepancy occur between the French and English versions of this document, the French version shall prevail.


1. Objective

Data represent a key information asset that can be used to attain various objectives, including organizational improvements, service development, and transparency when open.

This directive is designed to:

  • Clarify ownership of Montréal data;
  • Define data management principles;
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of the various administrative units regarding data management;
  • Formalize data governance.

2. Field of application

This directive concerns all administrative units at the city, including the boroughs. More specifically, it is addressed to all administrative units that collect, acquire, process or host data.

3. Definitions

Data Custodian: entity or person mandated by the city to manage its data and make all required decisions as part of this function.

Data Trustee: administrative unit at the city mandated to produce and manage Information resources and ensure their integrity.

Content Steward: person within the Data Trust at the city in charge of data management. He or she ensures that data are up to date, complete, valid, and of high quality.

Technical Manager: person in charge of the information and computer system or the tool that hosts Data sets; he/she is also in charge of developing data-extraction processes.

Data Coordinator: person responsible for data inventory at administrative units who can identify his/her administrative unit’s various Data sets and their Managers.

Information resource: documents and files, including databases, that provide information of a varied nature used by the city and its units to achieve their missions.

Open data: Information resources that are made available to the public under an open-use licence and are in compliance with open-data principles.

Open licence: a licence that enables access to, and use and redistribution of, information resources with little or no restriction.

Open format: an interoperable data format with public technical specifications and without access or use restrictions.

File: any digital platform for storing data: data files, programmable interfaces, data stream, and so on.

Data set: one or more Files relating to a specific subject of interest, for example, a set of Files concerning the city’s budget.

Information resource manager: The city’s unit administrator who produces the information resource and who is responsible for its integrity.

Degree of openness: the authorized level of access for Montréal Data sets. Degrees of openness include:

Open: Data sets may be made public and accessible to all users; consequently, they are subject to the rules set out herein and to the conditions included in the Open licence;

Restricted: access to Data sets is restricted to certain administrative units or partner organizations that are clearly identified;

Closed: access to Data sets is limited to the administrative unit that is responsible for them.

4. Data ownership

Data are the property of the city, acting on behalf of citizens. With this directive, the city delegates data-management responsibilities to Direction générale (the city management office).

Direction générale, or its representative, acts as the Data Custodian and as such is authorized to determine the use and Degree of openness for all Data sets.

The administrative units are Data Trustees; accordingly, they must ensure the appropriate management of all Data sets entrusted to their care.

5. Data inventory and catalogue

A data inventory process is carried out on a yearly basis and made public to inform all internal and external stakeholders of available information assets.

Information collected by this process is stored in a corporate data catalogue.

6. Roles and responsibilities

6.1. Direction générale

Direction générale or its representative:

  1. Directs and approves the city’s data-acquisition strategy;
  2. Appoints Trustees who are imputable for the acquisition and management of Data sets and, as required, prescribes qualitative improvements;
  3. As required, arbitrates disputes between administrative units regarding Degrees of openness and the management and/or sharing of Data sets.

6.2. Smart and Digital City Bureau

The Smart and Digital City Bureau:

  1. Oversees the application of this directive, the city’s Open Data Policy, and the decisions made by Direction générale or its representative;
  2. Directs and monitors the production, management, and use of data and oversees interactions among the various parties that produce, manage and use data;
  3. Coordinates the management of the data catalogue and data inventory process;
  4. Takes part in defining quality criteria for data and the data catalogue;
  5. Contributes to developing the city’s data architecture;
  6. Trains users on the topics of governance and open data;
  7. Manages the data release plan;
  8. Organizes data openness and documents this process;
  9. Manages the open-data platform and oversees relations with users.

6.3. Information Resource Manager

The Information Resource Manager:

    1. Produces and manages the Data sets under his/her responsibility;
    2. Ensures quality assurance and control;
    3. Maintains an inventory of Data sets under his/her management;
    4. Designates a Content Manager for each Data set;
    5. Designates a Data Coordinator for the administrative unit;
    6. Takes part in implementing the general data release plan and oversees its application to all Data sets under his/her responsibility;
    7. Evaluates risk associated with providing open access to Data sets;
    8. Complies with the city’s Open Data Policy.

6.4. Information Technology Department

The Information Technology Department:

      1. In collaboration with the Smart and Digital City Bureau, develops and maintains a coherent data architecture and corporate data catalogue;
      2. Develops and contributes to the continued development of corporate information system architecture to facilitate data openness and sharing while ensuring the integrity of such data;
      3. Defines technology solutions appropriate for use;
      4. As required, designates a Technical Manager for a given Data set;
      5. Operates and maintains data systems and data-management platforms for operational and open data;
      6. Implements security systems to ensure data integrity;
      7. Takes part in developing and applying quality control business rules.

7. Responsibility for developing, disseminating, interpreting, evaluating, and updating the directive

Direction générale or its representative is responsible for disseminating, interpreting, and evaluating the directive and may recommend amendments to it.

8. Responsibility for applying the directive

As part of their activities, corporate service offices and boroughs are responsible for implementing this directive and monitoring its application.

Application of this directive, including determining and applying Degrees of openness to data, must comply with the Act Respecting Access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information, CQLR c A-2.1.

9. Previous directive

This directive cancels all previous and potentially incompatible directives pertaining to this subject.