Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney mentioned Tuesday that Mark Wheeler, the city’s chief details officer considering that 2018, will leave the city govt. Wheeler instructed StateScoop he’s taken on a restricted function with the U.S. Common Products and services Administration’s Engineering Transformation Expert services.
Kenney also declared that Chief Functioning Officer Sandra Carter experienced been set up as interim CIO, helpful on Monday.
Wheeler leaves at the rear of a legacy of new digital companies for the city and extensive strategic work. Less than his leadership, the Philadelphia Place of work of Innovation and Engineering unveiled the “SmartCityPHL” Roadmap, a 25-page guideline and timeline for the city’s ongoing and long run tech-based mostly initiatives. Earlier this calendar year, the office environment and numerous other town departments introduced Allow Navigator, an on the net device developed to make it simpler to obtain data about the types of approvals needed for residential and organization design permits.
He also oversaw the release of Philadelphia’s very first Digital Equity Approach – a 5-year strategic approach to close the electronic divide. “And we’re carrying out objectives on that. It is not just a piece of paper that we communicate about, we’re actually carrying out the do the job,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler stated he’s most happy of cybersecurity initiatives throughout town government during his tenure, which he explained enabled businesses to defend against “some really serious attacks” above the past five decades.
When asked what he may possibly have completed in another way as CIO, Wheeler reported he wished he’d experienced a lot more time to imagine about and enact usage procedures for a network of movie surveillance cameras the Philadelphia Police Department uses all through felony investigations. Wheeler told StateScoop that through the to start with phases of the SmartPHL prepare, his section was requested to considerably develop the range of surveillance cameras, which in several metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. have caused worries about privateness, around-policing and racial discrimination.
Far more cameras are on the way to Philadelphia: A money and strategic approach covering a period from 2023 to 2027 allotted about $5 million to put in more cameras and work the surveillance community.
“What I feel we need to have, and what I’ll carry on to push for in my personal experienced potential, are some kinds of valuations or triggers by which cities can then say it’s time to pull these again,” Wheeler explained to StateScoop. “You know, the criminal offense charges are down. So should the cameras appear down? I know that not all of the elected officers concur with me. They don’t think which is an difficulty, but I individually do think it’s a single that we really should deal with and have a policy on now and not wait until finally the inquiries occur about irrespective of whether we’re over surveilling some blocks and not some others.”
Prior to foremost the Business office of Innovation and Technologies, Wheeler served as deputy CIO and the city’s very first chief geographic details officer, overseeing the launch of community electronic equipment to visualize and use town property info.
“Mark has been a visionary chief in going OIT from a aid purpose in Town functions to a main position in know-how transformation and strategic preparing,” Kenney mentioned in a information launch. “He performed a important component in vital community initiatives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when mobilizing to distant do the job and info security was completely crucial. I am grateful for his management and enthusiasm for modernization in the course of his tenure.”
In addition to his new, minimal job with GSA — which will be focused on knowledge and artificial intelligence projects inside of the federal government — Wheeler reported he ideas to do some consulting in the “smart city” realm as well, barring any conflicts of interest.
“I’ve been very very pleased and honored to be CIO, especially in the course of the pandemic. And I felt amazingly supported — inside of town government, as well as in our tech group,” he said. “I motivate any person stepping into these roles for the first time to uncover all those teams due to the fact you’re heading to have to have them.”