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FCW : June 15, 2014
recently via a May 2013 executive order titled "Making Open and Machine-Readable the New Default for Government Information" and a supplementary Of ce of Manage- ment and Budget memo under the subject line of "Open Data Policy: Managing Information as an Asset," which created a frame- work to "help institutionalize the principles of effective information management at each stage of the information s life cycle to promote interoperability and openness." The directive also established the creation of Project Open Data, managed jointly by OMB and the Of ce of Science and Technology Policy. The centralized portal seeks to foster "a culture change in gov- ernment where we embrace collab- oration and where anyone can help us make open data work better," U.S. Chief Technology Of cer Todd Park and CIO Steven VanRoekel wrote in May 2013 to announce the effort. Fully hosted on the social cod- ing platform GitHub, Project Open Data offers tools, resources and case studies that can be used and enhanced by the community. Resources include an implemen- tation guide, data catalog require- ments, guidance for making a busi- ness case for open data, common core metadata schema, a sample chief data of cer position descrip- tion and more. Staying true to the spirit of openness As governments begin to imple- ment open-data policies, following a exible, iterative methodology is essential to the true spirit of open- ness. Through this process, Open Knowledge --- an international nonpro t organization devoted to "using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information" --- recommends keeping it simple by releasing "easy" data that will be a "catalyst for larger behavioral change within organizations," engag- ing early and actively, and immedi- ately addressing any fear or misun- derstanding that might arise during the process. Open Knowledge suggests four "simple" steps in the open-data implementation process: • Choose your dataset(s). • Apply an open license. • Make the data available. • Make it discoverable. From a more granular agency per- spective, Project Open Data offers the following protocol: • Create and maintain an enterprise data inventory. • Create and maintain a public data listing. • Create a process to engage with customers to help facilitate and prioritize data release. • Document if data cannot be released. • Clarify roles and responsibilities for promoting ef cient and effec- tive data release. Furthermore, the technical fun- damentals of open data include using machine-readable, open le formats such as XML, HTML, JSON, RDF or plain text --- as opposed to the pervasive, proprietary Por- table Document Format created by Adobe. Former Philadelphia Chief Data Of cer Mark Headd famously said, "When you put a PDF in your [GitHub] repo, an angel cries." Put a license on it Although government content is not subject to domestic copyright protection, it is important to put an open license on government data so June 15, 2014 FCW.COM 29 December 2007 30 open-data pioneers establish eight principles for open government data Jan. 21, 2009 President Barack Obama declares that openness will "strengthen our democracy and promote ef ciency and effectiveness in government" May 20, 2009 Data.gov launches Dec. 8, 2009 White House issues the Open Government Directive May 23, 2012 Obama's "Building a 21st Century Digital Government" memo requires agencies to "establish central online resources for outside developers and to adopt new standards for making applicable government information open and machine-readable by default" May 9, 2013 The White House issues an executive order titled "Making Open and Machine-Readable the New Default for Government Information" May 9, 2013 White House issues "Open Data Policy: Managing Information as an Asset" May 16, 2013 Project Open Data launches April 28, 2014 Congress passes the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act Open-data timeline
June 30, 2014
July 15, 2014