Improving government access to government data

Written by
  • Katelyn Rogers

One of the primary users of open government data is government itself. Even from within government itself, it is not necessary easy to gain access to the data that you, as a civil servant needs as it is often locked up in departmental silos. This is why it should come a surprise that when the government of British Columbia began releasing open data in a centralised place, their open data portal, around one third of the site visits came from within government itself. In fact, the Greater Manchester area has estimated that “FOI requests cost Greater Manchester public bodies over £4 million a year, while over 600 public officials a day are unable to find or use data that they require for their jobs – costing authorities over £8.5 million a year.” By breaking down the silos that exist between the various departments, bodies, and layers of government and allowing data to flow, access to the information public servants need to deliver high quality services to communities becomes infinitely more efficient.