Open Government Data Takes a Small Step Forward in the US

Posted on May 27, 2016 by Dave Nitchman

A committee of the US Senate has advanced legislation called S. 2852, the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, that will mandate all public federal information in the US be presented in searchable formats and be made freely available for everyone to use. Corporate data collected by the US government like financial statement data from the SEC and some banking information from the FDIC are already of course available through existing XBRL initiatives, and the DATA Act, currently in implementation, covers government spending,

The key to S. 2852 is in Article 5, which states that government data should “be published as machine-readable data … in an open format, and …. under open licenses.” This not only addresses the need for structured data but the issue (discussed last week) of government using proprietary systems that have the effect of restricting access to data. This is a very preliminary first step but an important development.Learn more.

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