Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama administration follows through on promise of open government, but some data of little value

In December President Obama issued an order requiring each government agency to publish at least three high-value data sets online. Now 40 agencies have followed through on the directive by publishing hundreds of new datasets via the open-government clearinghouse, the Society of Environmental Journalists reports. However, SEJ reports that the definition of "high value" is "rather nebulous."

"High-value information is information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation," SEJ explains. But SEJ member Robert Weinhold characterized the recent data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as "pretty low value — and most, if not all, were already available." The "WatchDog TipSheet" story includes a breakdown of each database released on Jan. 20. (Read more)

No comments: