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It even sounds complicated: making information resources assessible, discoverable, and usable by the public, and making open and machine readable the new default for government information. But that's what the White House ordered in May of 2013. Now agencies are finally getting their heads around how best to meet the requirements of the open data policy. Several agencies realize what's needed is a combination of policy and action. Federal News Radio's executive editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details about the plans of some agencies to meet this 18-month-old policy.
USDA, DHS and Transportation are taking steps to implement OMB's May 2013 open data policy. Each agency faces policy and process challenges, but they say progress is starting.
Mark Doms, the Commerce Department's undersecretary for Economic Affairs, said the agency is hiring a chief data officer, setting up a Data Advisory Council and looking to private sector experts to make its information more accessible and easier to use. Commerce also is testing mapping and other tools to improve the presentation of data.
Sonny Hashmi, chief information officer at the General Services Administration, joins Federal News Radio for a free online chat to discuss everything from mobility to zero-based budgeting and collaboration, among other topics.
The Department of Commerce will hire its first-ever chief data officer, Secretary Penny Pritzker said recently. Pritzker also is establishing a data advisory council and introducing a "developer portal," which she said will help advance the agency's open data initiatives.
"Big data," "data to decisions," and "data analytics" are all big buzz words in government at the moment as agencies try to harness the power of computing to leverage the information they already collect into better decision making. But in most cases, the data itself isn't worth much unless experienced people combine it with their own judgment. Dan Saaty is the chief technology officer and co-founder of Decision Lens, a Virginia company that helps crunch numbers for organizations ranging from intelligence agencies to NFL franchises. He said on In Depth with Francis Rose if organizations want to use data to help guide their decisions, the first thing they need to do is set priorities.
Ginger McCall, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says agencies need better FOIA regulations and a cultural change toward transparency.
The Food and Drug Administration has launched openFDA. It's a new data initiative making for easier access to large public health datasets. OpenFDA is in line with the President's open data executive order and the Health and Human Service Department's Health Data Initiative. Taha Kass-Hout is chief health informatics officer at the FDA. He explains the main focus of the project to Tom and Emily on the Federal Drive.
A signature open-government initiative of the Obama administration is turning five years old this week. The website Data.gov is home to more than 100,000 individual agency data sets. It's also the destination of app developers hoping to turn federal data into useful information. Marion Royal is the director of Data.gov, which is run by the General Services Administration. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the website has progressed over the years.
The White House released a U.S. Open Data Action Plan Friday, which comes exactly one year after the President signed an executive order to make government data open and machine-readable.
Margie Graves, the co-chairwoman of the Innovation Committee and deputy CIO at the Homeland Security Department, said the committee is focusing on three areas: Open data, data analytical tools and public-private partnerships to help agencies improve mission outcomes. December 26, 2013
With the launch of VA Open Data, members of the public and applications developers will be able to access non-sensitive, non-personal information from the Veterans Affairs Department.
Margie Graves, the co-chairwoman of the Innovation Committee and deputy CIO at the Homeland Security Department, said the committee is focusing on three areas: Open data, data analytical tools and public-private partnerships to help agencies improve mission outcomes. November 21, 2013
News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.