Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE)

“Open government data is a powerful tool for economic growth, social benefit, and scientific research. This global resource must be developed and managed in ways that meet the needs of the people and organizations that use it.

CODE brings together data providers and data users to develop better strategies that serve stakeholders and their common goals. 

CODE, founded as the Center for Open Data Enterprise, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to maximize the value of open government data as a resource for economic growth, social good, and scientific research….”

Exploring the quality of government open data | Comparison study of the UK, the USA and Korea | The Electronic Library | Vol 37, No 1

Abstract:  Purpose

The use of “open data” can help the public find value in various areas of interests. Many governments have created and published a huge amount of open data; however, people have a hard time using open data because of data quality issues. The UK, the USA and Korea have created and published open data; however, the rate of open data implementation and level of open data impact is very low because of data quality issues like incompatible data formats and incomplete data. This study aims to compare the statuses of data quality from open government sites in the UK, the USA and Korea and also present guidelines for publishing data format and enhancing data completeness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses statistical analysis of different data formats and examination of data completeness to explore key issues of data quality in open government data.

Findings

Findings show that the USA and the UK have published more than 50 per cent of open data in level one. Korea has published 52.8 per cent of data in level three. Level one data are not machine-readable; therefore, users have a hard time using them. The level one data are found in portable document format and hyper text markup language (HTML) and are locked up in documents; therefore, machines cannot extract out the data. Findings show that incomplete data are existing in all three governments’ open data.

Originality/value

Governments should investigate data incompleteness of all open data and correct incomplete data of the most used data. Governments can find the most used data easily by monitoring data sets that have been downloaded most frequently over a certain period.

Open Government Partnership and the Open Data for Development Network join forces to support open…

The partnership will help advance the open data efforts in more than 60 OGP countries that have committed to implement ambitious open data principles.

Since the creation of the Open Government Partnership, Open Data commitments have been at the core of open government initiatives aiming to empowering government and civil society reformers to improve public services, reduce corruption, and harness technology to make government more efficient. The OGP 16 Paris Declaration recognizes that the increased availability of data is transforming the way citizens and governments interact, and is creating new opportunities for participation, responsiveness, and ongoing dialogue….”

The Feds Make a Killing by Overcharging for Electronic Court Records – Reason.com

If you want to find a federal court case—say, to look up the latest juicy filing in the prosecution of one of Donald Trump’s indicted cronies—odds are you’ll hold your nose and log on to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website, a system run by the federal judiciary.

It’s an old and clunky platform, running on the best interface the mid-1990s had to offer. Which might be excusable if it were free, but it’s not.

PACER charges 10 cents a page for court records and searches. There’s a $3 cap on large documents, and users pay nothing if their bill is under $15 per quarter. This keeps most casual users from needing to pony up—but for news organizations, researchers, and legal professionals, costs can pile up quickly….”

Government Data as Intellectual Property: Is Public Domain the Same as Open Access?

Key points to highlight: U.S. federal government data is released into the public domain. This raises concerns about:

  • privacy and security of data about individuals
  • the potential for enclosure if the U.S. government does not maintain human readable interfaces, i.e. if the open data is used by commercial companies to create toll access services and the government does not provide free end user services, this would be an instance of open commercial use effectively creating enclosure (or privatizing what is currently free government services)

Abstract

Public domain and open data policies and how they are made. Current status of open data policies in the Federal government are changing with new laws. What is HR4174/S4047 and what does it say and mean? What are trends in government data policies regarding access to that statistical data? This article will give the reader an understanding of federal policies and laws regarding data.

Creating a data-first culture at federal agencies — FCW

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 provides guidelines on how agencies should collect and analyze data to promote effective and efficient policymaking across programs and organizations. Data, not gut feelings or political influence, will determine how policy is created, modified or retired and whether a program achieves its intended objectives….

The legislation also incorporates the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act of 2018, which requires federal agencies to make their program and activity data available in machine-readable format and to maintain and publish inventories of their datasets. The rich datasets captured will be available to the public and, more importantly, shareable among federal agencies. Having accessible data finally gives federal agencies the ability to explore critical metrics about the citizens they are serving, programs they are executing and the results of their work. …”

Creating a data-first culture at federal agencies — FCW

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 provides guidelines on how agencies should collect and analyze data to promote effective and efficient policymaking across programs and organizations. Data, not gut feelings or political influence, will determine how policy is created, modified or retired and whether a program achieves its intended objectives….

The legislation also incorporates the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act of 2018, which requires federal agencies to make their program and activity data available in machine-readable format and to maintain and publish inventories of their datasets. The rich datasets captured will be available to the public and, more importantly, shareable among federal agencies. Having accessible data finally gives federal agencies the ability to explore critical metrics about the citizens they are serving, programs they are executing and the results of their work. …”

THE OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP: FOURTH OPEN GOVERNMENT NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, February 2019

“This roadmap for the next two years outlines a selection of Trump Administration objectives to make government information more open and accessible for developers, academics, entrepreneurs and everyday Americans….

3) Provide Public Access to Federally Funded Research

Primarily through the National Science and Technology Council (Council), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates United States efforts to make the results of Federally funded scientific research more accessible and useful to the public, industry, and the scientific community. In the Council’s Subcommittee on Open Science, thirty-two United States agency funders collaborate to improve the preservation, discoverability, accessibility, and usability of Federally funded scientific research, with the aims of bolstering the reliability of that research, accelerating scientific discovery, stimulating innovation, enhancing economic growth and job creation.

In 2018, the Subcommittee on Open Science was re-chartered to promote open science principles across the Federal Government and increase public access to Federally-funded research results. The Subcommittee’s priorities include: (1) Facilitating coordination across Federal Government agencies on open science efforts; (2) Developing appropriate incentives to encourage researchers to adopt open science principles; (3) Streamlining and synchronizing agency and researcher data management practices for maximum utility to the public; (4) Collaborating with academia, researcher communities, and industry toward the development of research data standards that further open science. As part of the Subcommittee’s objectives, it will develop a report that provides recommendations for improvements to existing Federal open access policies and continued collaboration between agencies on achieving open access objectives….”

If Software Is Funded from a Public Source, Its Code Should Be Open Source | Linux Journal

“If we pay for it, we should be able to use it….

But it’s important not to overstate the “free as in beer” element here. All major software projects have associated costs of implementation and support. Departments choosing free software simply because they believe it will save lots of money in obvious ways are likely to be disappointed, and that will be bad for open source’s reputation and future projects….

Moving to open-source solutions does not guarantee that personal data will not leak out, but it does ensure that the problems, once found, can be fixed quickly by government IT departments—something that isn’t the case for closed-source products. This is a powerful reason why public funds should mean open source—or as a site created by the Free Software Foundation Europe puts it: “If it is public money, it should be public code as well”.

The site points out some compelling reasons why any government code produced with public money should be free software. They will all be familiar enough to readers of Linux Journal. For example, publicly funded code that is released as open source can be used by different departments, and even different governments, to solve similar problems. That opens the way for feedback and collaboration, producing better code and faster innovation. And open-source code is automatically available to the people who paid for it—members of the public. They too might be able to offer suggestions for improvement, find bugs or build on it to produce exciting new applications. None of these is possible if government code is kept locked up by companies that write it on behalf of taxpayers….”