Posts Tagged ‘open gov’

Crowdsourcing the UK’s Freedom of Information Act

The Guardian reports, “The [British] government has launched an open consultation on the guidance that public authorities will use to enhance the right to data in the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. These provisions, covering the re-use of data and the form in which it is made available, are expected to come into force in April 2013, and – delivering on a commitment in the open data white paper – we are opening up the process of developing the guidance to the public. The white paper presented clear actions to strengthen people’s access to data, improve its usability and ensure that its full potential for economic and social growth is unleashed.” Read more

Upcoming Hackathon Plans to Track Flow of Money in EU

2011 Knight News Challenge Winner Lucy Chambers recently wrote, “As a journalist, to understand European Union institutions, policies and commitments, you have to look where the money goes and understand who affects the money flow in the EU. As the influence of Brussels lobbyists grows, it is increasingly important to draw the connections between lobbying, policy-making and funding. The EU publishes information on its spending and also maintains a transparency register. These, however, are difficult for journalists and citizens to use. With OpenSpending, we set out to use the power of technology to catalyze greater government transparency by providing new tools for media and citizens to more easily access government data in searchable, sortable and machine readable formats.” Read more

Open Government Partnership Celebrates First Anniversary

Kedar Pavgi of reports, “A year ago, President Obama and 46 other heads of state launched the Open Government Partnership, an initiative designed to increase transparency within governments around the world. The group’s declaration said that all adherent countries would: (1) Promote openness, because more information about governmental activities should be timely and freely available to people; (2) Engage citizens in decision-making, because this makes government more innovative and responsive; (3) Implement the highest standards of professional integrity, because those in power must serve the people and not themselves; and (4) Increase access to new technologies because of their unprecedented potential to help people realize their aspirations for access to information and a more powerful voice in how they are governed.” Read more an Improvement, but Not Fully Open

Alex Howard of the O’Reilly Radar reports that the newly launched is more responsive, but falls short in terms of linked open data. He writes, “Today, the nation’s repository for its laws launched a new beta website at and announced that it would eventually replace, the 17-year-old website that represented one of the first significant forays online for Congress. The new website will educate the public looking for information on their mobile devices about the lawmaking process, but it falls short of the full promise of embracing the power of the Internet. (More on that later).” Read more

Open Data Lessons at ODCC

The Open Data Cities Conference happened last Friday, and Adam Tinworth was on hand. He has provided informative recaps of several of the presentations on One Man and His Blog. One of the most intriguing is his recap of Emer Coleman’s reflections on her experience building the London Data Store. Tinworth reports that the first lesson Coleman learned was “It was never about the data.” He writes, “The conversations are not about data – they’re about the threat it was to the public sector. It creates a totally different approach to governance, so you gave have mature conversations with the electorate, who have the same data that government does. You move from the tyranny of the experts to the wisdom of the crowds. But that’s uncomfortable for back office statisticians who have not been used to being in the public gaze.” Read more

How Successful is

Simon Rogers reports that the National Audit Office has released its report on the United Kingdom’s open government data project. Rogers writes, “This should be a good week for open government data in the UK. The British government is one of the key drivers in the Open Government Partnership, presently meeting in Brasilia, where it is being lauded for the way it has released a ‘tsunami of data’. And yet, according to the National Audit Office, all is not entirely rosy. Read between the lines of its report out today, Implementing Transparency, and you will see a government which has been chucking out tonnes of data, that no-one looks at and without a complete strategy. Oh and it’s cost an awful lot of money.” Read more

Keeping the UK Government Open

Jeni Tennison recently discussed the United Kingdom’s current open standards consultation, calling UK citizens to action. She writes, “Over the last few months, the UK Government has been running a consultation on its Open Standards policy. The outcome of this consultation is incredibly important not only for organisations and individuals who want to work with government but also because of its potential knock-on effects on the publication of Open Data and the use of Open Source software within public sector organisations. Read more

New Paper: The Ongoing Case of Web 3

Tim Davies recently pointed out two new open data publications. The first was a special issue of the Journal of Community Informatics on open government. The second is a report:  ICT for or against development? An introduction to the ongoing case of Web 3 (PDF). The paper was written by Mike Powell, Tim Davies, and Keisha Candice Taylor. The full paper is available for download here. Read more

Government Linked Data Group Publishes 4 Working Drafts

The W3C Government Linked Data Working Group has published four public working drafts. The first is for Data Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT): “DCAT is an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web. This document defines the schema and provides examples for its use.”

The second is for the RDF Data Cube Vocabulary. The description states, “There are many situations where it would be useful to be able to publish multi-dimensional data, such as statistics, on the web in such a way that it can be linked to related data sets and concepts. The Data Cube vocabulary provides a means to do this using the W3C RDF (Resource Description Framework) standard.” Read more

White House Publishes Open Innovator’s Toolkit

The White House’s Open Government Initiative has published a toolkit of twenty resources for open data innovators. According to the toolkit website, “President Obama emphasizes a ‘bottom-up’ philosophy that taps citizen expertise to make government smarter and more responsive to private sector demands. This philosophy of ‘open innovation’ has already delivered tangible results in public and regulated sectors of the economy – areas like health IT, learning technologies, and smart grid – that are poised to deliver productivity growth and grow the jobs of the future.” Read more