Monday, 20 May 2013

Open and machine-readable data requirement for all gov info

Last week the White House announced that President Obama has issued Executive Order 13642 (3 page pdf) "Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information", affecting federal agencies. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has sent a memorandum (12 page pdf) to agency heads establishing guidance for implementing the Open Data Policy. The guidance identifies the policy requirements to collect or create information, build information systems that support interoperability and accessibility, manage data and release practices, and identify related privacy and confidentiality measures.The memo defines “open data” as publicly available data that is “structured in a way that enables the data to be fully discoverable and usable by end users.” Under the guidance, open data is: public; accessable in open formats; fully described with documentation; reusable (available under open license); complete, with as much detail allowed by law; timely; and supportable after release.  This is a big step forward in making government data accessible and useful for citizens, scholars, entrepreneurs, politicians, and others.

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