Mohana Ravindranath | Nextgov | May 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Open Data Needs More than Executive Orders, Think Tank Says


Executive orders aren't enough to bolster federal open data programs, and Congress needs to step up, a technology advocacy group says.

Congress has taken a handful of meaningful steps recently to encourage federal agencies to share data with each other and the public, according to a new Center for Data Innovation report. For instance, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, introduced the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, also known as the OPEN Government Data Act, which would codify former President Barack Obama’s 2013 executive order mandating federal agencies publish data online in a machine-readable format. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate. And the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, passed in 2014, required federal agencies to make spending data public by May 9.

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Without further congressional action, there's "uncertainty about the extent to which the federal government will remain committed" to "opening its data to the public or refining and improving open-data efforts over time," the report said.

Here are a few of the advocacy group's recommendations to lawmakers: