One year ago today, President Obama signed an executive order that made open and machine-readable data the new default for government information. This historic step is helping to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs while appropriately safeguarding sensitive information and rigorously protecting privacy.
Freely available data from the U.S. Government is an important national resource, serving as fuel for entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific discovery, and economic growth. Making information about government operations more readily available and useful is also core to the promise of a more efficient and transparent government. This initiative is a key component of the President’s Management Agenda and our efforts to ensure the government is acting as an engine to expand economic growth and opportunity for all Americans. The Administration is committed to driving further progress in this area, including by designating Open Data as one of our key Cross-Agency Priority Goals.
Over the past few years, the Administration has launched a number of Open Data Initiatives aimed at scaling up open data efforts across the Health, Energy, Climate, Education, Finance, Public Safety, and Global Development sectors. The White House has also launched Project Open Data, designed to share best practices, examples, and software code to assist Federal agencies with opening data. These efforts have helped unlock troves of valuable data—that taxpayers have already paid for—and are making these resources more open and accessible to innovators and the public.
Other countries are also opening up their data. In June 2013, President Obama and other G7 leaders endorsed the Open Data Charter, in which the United States committed to publish a roadmap for our nation’s approach to releasing and improving government data for the public.
Building upon the Administration’s Open Data progress, and in fulfillment of the Open Data Charter, today we are excited to release the U.S. Open Data Action Plan. The plan includes a number of exciting enhancements and new data releases planned in 2014 and 2015, including:
We look forward to implementing the U.S. Open Data Action Plan, and to continuing to work with our partner countries in the G7 to take the open data movement global.
Steve VanRoekel is the U.S. Chief Information Officer. Todd Park is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.