Obama’s open data Executive Order

U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday issued a new order which strengthens the Administration’s vision for open data.

The Executive Order sets a new default for government information, requiring that all data is produced in a format that is “open and machine readable”. This encourages an open data approach in line with the framework of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which U.S. agencies are beginning to implement.

The Order applies to all agencies, with exemptions for National Security Systems. There are also measures to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are protected. Nevertheless, the presumption is that data should be prepared and released to the public in an accessible format, with suitable frequency, and with an aim of dissemination and downstream use.

The order was accompanied by a memorandum from Sylvia Burwell, Director of OMB, to all heads of Executive Departments and Agencies.


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