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Open Data policy roundup

Here's a roundup of activity in the world of Open Data in the past few weeks:

  • published the first unified dataset of federal spending in US history
    • Here's the API page -
    • The CDER library of federal financial data elements (basically a data standard for financials) is also alive and well
    • The driver for both these efforts was the DATA act of 2014, which focusses on data standardization and relies on administrative rules and process to implement
  • Oregon's Open Data bill (HB 3361) has not made it out of the Rules committee
    • It looks quite a bit like Washingon's HB2202 from 2014,
    • It would require a state open data portal, appoint a data officer, exempt anything that's exempt from disclosure, and allow a limited amount of time for compliance
  • In Washington, the only bill addressing Open Data was HB 1622, which would require the State Building Code Council to explore open access technologies as part of their process for adopting new standards
  • But the big news in the regular session this year was on public records -- HB 1594 and 1595 make some significant adjustments to the public records act
    • Establishes a grant program for local governments to improve their public records work
    • Authorizes a study of a common statewide public records portal
    • Allows agencies to establish a rate sheet and charge for providing public records in electronic form
    • Relieves agencies from responding to requests for "all or substantially all records", automated "bot" requests, and requests that are unclear
    • Preserves the "already posted" option for quickly responding to requests
  • The OCIO's Open Data Planning policy is up for review and renewal this May at the Technology Services Board meeting
    • The proposal will keep open data planning as a requirement, but lets agencies decide what and how to publish
  • Outside government, there has been a lot of quiet work going on in library and scientific circles to build "Refuges" for federal climate and environmental data
    • Here's a website describing this grass-roots effort
    • Many of the "refuge" folks are using the emerging "data package" format to describe and capture datasets outside of a "portal"
    • Some are listing their private packages through the DAT project - a very cool decentralized tool for publishing and consuming open data.


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