Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Open Data Debate Arrives in Ottawa

The Open Data Debate Arrives in Ottawa

via by David Eaves on 10/21/10

The Liberals are promising to create an open data portal - - much like President Obama has done in the United States and both Gordon Brown and David Cameron have done in the United Kingdom.

It's a savvy move.

In May 2010 when it launched a public consultation on the Digital Economy, the government invited the public to submit proposals and vote on them. Two of the top three most voted ideas involved asking the government to open up access to government collected data. Three months after the submissions have closed it appears the opposition has decided to act on Canadians wishes and release a 21st century open government strategy that reflects these popular demands.

Today, at 1pm EST, I've discovered the Liberals will announce that, if elected, they will adopt a government-wide directive in which "the default position for all departments and agencies will be for the release of information to the public, both proactively and responsively, after privacy and other legal requirements are met."

There is much that both ordinary citizens and advocates of greater government transparency will like in the proposal. Not only have the Liberals mirrored the most aggressive parts of President Obama's transparency initiatives they are also promising some specific and aggressive policies of their own. In addition to promising to launching to share government data the document proposes the creation of where citizens could search past and current access to information requests as well as see response times. A third website, entitled is also proposed. It would allow government grants, contributions and contracts to be searched.