Open Data Within The Wider Data LandscapeAugust 8, 2019
As finishing touches are being applied to our new Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland, this work comes at a time when developments in information management and data, in both a national and international context, are of increasing importance as they inform the type and scope of data that can and should be released as open data.
Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive
As the data landscape changes, and of particular relevance to Open Data, initiatives such as the re-cast of the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulation (to become the Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive) further reinforce the move towards the position of ‘open by default’ for government information.
On 16th July 2019, the Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information, also known as the ‘Open Data Directive’ (Directive (EU) 2019/1024) entered into force.
This Directive will:
- Identify a list of key datasets, such as geospatial and statistical data, to be provided free of charge, as such datasets have a high commercial potential and can accelerate the emergence of value-added information products and services and the development of Artificial Intelligence;
- Stimulate the publishing of dynamic data and the uptake of Application Programme Interfaces (APIs);
- Lift the exceptions which currently allow public bodies to charge more than the marginal costs of dissemination for the re-use of their data; and
- Enlarge the scope of the Directive to include a wider range of data held by public undertakings, such as research data resulting from public funding and data governed by public-private agreements involving public sector information.
Member states are required to transpose the revised directive into each state’s national law by 16th July 2021.
Openness by Design
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
In line with these aims, ICO has published its new access to information strategy, Openness by Design, in order to be more proactive and increase the impact of regulation of information right laws, thus allowing individuals to have more confidence in the openness and accountability of public authorities and have more opportunity to participate in public life.
Released on 27th June 2019, the Opennness by Design strategy includes aims to improve standards of accountability, openness and transparency, and raise awareness of access to information rights and make them more accessible.
Open data has been identified as a key component of the ICO’s strategic plan and shall therefore be working to promote the use of open data publication by public authorities as a tool of transparency as well as taking regulatory action in cases of non-compliance with relevant legislation.
Yo can read more about the Openness by Design strategy, as well as downloading the strategy document itself, by visiting https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2019/06/ico-s-access-to-information-strategy-calls-for-better-compliance-by-public-authorities-backed-up-with-enforcement-action/ .
Open Government National Action Plan
Coinciding with our work towards a new Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland, the fourth UK National Action Plan (NAP4) for Open Government was published on 28th May 2019.
Founded in 2011, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
Under the auspices of the OGP, each member state has formulated an Open Government Action Plan designed to promote and enhance transparency in government and measured by way of commitments made as part of the plan.
The NAP4 includes commitments to publish more key datasets as open data and to publish more information to high quality standards on the 5* open data schema, as well as commitments regarding promotion of data re-use.
Commitments of the Northern Ireland Executive within the Open Government Action Plan 2019-2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/commitments-from-the-northern-ireland-executive--2 .
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