Catalyzing innovation and adding more transparency to government through the release of open data is an issue that should rise about partisan politics. At least, that was the message that Nigel Shadbolt, an advisor to the United Kingdom, delivered at a conference in Bilbao, Spain yesterday.
Shadbolt’s presentation on how they did data.gov.uk, the British open government data website will offer some fuel to the arguments of advocates in other countries or states working to justify standing up similar repositories – or defend one that are already online. In his presentation, below, Shadbolt offers up a range of arguments, including more accountability, citizen engagement, improvement to public services, government efficiency, benefits to economic and social value, and that “government as a platform” idea that continues to maintain traction around the globe.
It was only last month, after all, that the United States Congress weighed deep cuts to funding for federal open government data platforms, with the final budget slashing the White House Office of Management and Budget’s e-government fund by some 75%. As data.gov relaunches as a cloud-based platform, the arguments for open data that Shadbolt advances will need to be born out with favorable outcomes in at least a few areas over the coming year to shore up bipartisan its continued operations. The brightest hope for those outcomes is likely to come from health.data.gov, a subdomain of the main open government data repository, where the U.S. Department of Health and Services has been working to making health data as weather data.
For more on the United Kingdom’s open government initiative and the open data movement, watch Shadbolt’s talk from February 2011 of this year, embedded below:
[Hat tip to the Australia E-Government Research Center]