Boston FOIA Tech Stack Overhaul

In early 2018, as part of a five person team from the Kennedy School of Government, alongside former US Deputy CTO Nick Sinai, and early USDSers Brian Lefler and Steph Nguyen, I helped the City of Boston overhaul its public records request technology stack. After an extensive survey of the state of innovation in government procurement and technology development (including advances made by our client), we consulted with the City during a five-month process.

We interviewed external (public) and internal (gov employee) stakeholders across 5+ city silos, helping the city rethink the way it meets records requesters’ needs and supports its employees. We collected granular and aggregated request metadata, and demonstrated how data-sharing across city silos could improve customer experiences while cutting unnecessary costs. We helped the city identify vendors with modern software development practices that could deliver products and integrations quickly and in a modular fashion that could be easily maintained and extended. We left the city with a documented, outcome-centered (rather than feature-centered) build vs buy and procurement framework that could be easily replicated.

Collection Credits

Boston FOIA Redesign

James Moffet
Erica Pincus
Jon Truong
Thad Kerosky
Jackie Chea

Outvote App
James Moffet
Nadeem Mazen
Naseem Makiya
Lizzie Devane

Critical Mass
James Moffet
Morgan Starkey
Alexander Tepper

All Else
James Moffet