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Open Government Data

About the principles of open government data and the central platforms in Austria and Europe

"Open Government" is used as a collective term for a whole raft of different concepts and visions that examine certain facets of an opening of state and administration.

Open Government Data (OGD) are the non-personal and non-infrastructure-critical data inventories that are made freely accessible in the interest of the general public without any restriction regarding free use, dissemination and further use.

Open Government Data is seen as holding the potential for promoting social, cultural, scientific and economic progress in many areas in the long term. By making it possible to use non-personal information of the public sector, the development of new products and services is promoted and economic growth in Austria promoted. In addition, Open Government Data is seen as an appropriate tool to increase the transparency of administrative activities, to improve collaboration between politics, administration, business, research and citizens and to strengthen democracy.

When selecting the data to be published, it should be noted that the data are selected that are really interesting and usable for the users.

The principles of Open Government Data

1. Completeness: Data records published by the administration are as complete as possible; they depict the entire scope of what is documented on a particular topic. Meta data that describe and explain the raw data are also supplied along with formulae and explanations to calculate the data. This will enable the users to understand the alignment of the available information and to analyse the data element with the greatest possible richness of detail. Data protection, security and access restrictions are to be checked before publication. Personal data are fundamentally excluded from publication.

2. Primary source: The data are collected by the administration at their origin and published. This is done with the highest possible degree of fineness, not in aggregated or otherwise modified form.

3. Prompt provision: Data records published by the administration are made available to the public within an appropriate period of time in a form that is as up-to-date as possible. They are published as soon as they have been collected and compiled. Data that are available in real time can be retrieved directly via a programming interface (API).

4. Easy access: Data records published by the administration are as accessible and accessible as possible. Physical obstacles (e.g. the need to seek out a certain office in person or the requirement to go through certain processes) are also to be avoided as are technical obstacles (e.g. access to data only via completed input masks or systems that require browser-oriented technologies such as Flash, JavaScript, Cookies or Java Applets).

5. Machine-readable: Data are stored in established file formats that are easily machine-readable so that an automated, structured processing is possible. The usage of different file formats is recommended. If other factors require the use of formats that are difficult to machine-read, the data should also be available in machine-friendly formats. Files should be accompanied by a documentation that refers to the format and to how it can be used with regard to the data.

6. Free from discrimination: Any person can access the data at any time without having to identify themselves or submit a justification for their actions.

7. Use of open standards: The formats in which the administration publish-es data are open standards wherever possible which no legal entity has any sole control over. Here, the administration orients itself to standards that have been developed by bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) , e. g. DCAT-AP  or to conventions of the Austrian.

8. Licensing: The administration publishes open government data under licence: Creative Commons Naming 3.0 Austria (CC BY 3.0 AT). For this purpose, the administration unit must clarify issues of copyright, patent and trademark law beforehand.

9. Documentation (durability): Information published by the administration is documented comprehensively with meta data and can be found over a lengthy period of time. Information placed online has appropriate version controls and is fundamentally archived on a long-term basis. If the underlying data model should change, the original information and the updated information should be published in parallel for at least 3 months. These changes are to be announced via the communication channels of the administration and documented in the meta data.

10. Usage costs: Through the determination of the usage of the licence: Creative Commons Naming 3.0 Austria (CC BY 3.0), the charging of usage costs is currently not envisaged.

Central platform data.gv.at

Through the joint implementation and the start of the Austrian "One-Stop Open Government Data Metaportal" on 18.04.2012, another obstacle on the path to a successful implementation of Open Government data in Austria was eliminated. With data.gv.at a central catalogue for open government data in Austria was launched that aims to make it possible for users to quickly and simply find the required data via a single electronic point of contact.

It is possible for the participating organisations to enter meta data themselves and also to save administration data on the platform. The platform is the central point of reference for the European Data Portal, that regularly takes over all data and automatically translates into currently 9 languages.

Until autumn 2016, more than 21,000 data records were published by more than 35 contributing organisations and more than 360 applications created, based on these.

The Open Data Portal Austria is the equivalent to data.gv.at for the “open” non-government data of Austria. It offers the chance for business, science, culture and NGOs and civilian society to provide all users with non-personal data.

Cooperation agreement for the operation of data.gv.at

The project group PG OeInfo has developed a cooperation model for the operation and the further development of data.gv.at. This model includes a cooperation agreement that all federal provinces and the Federal Chancellery as the representative of the federal government have signed.

For the control of the operations and the further development, a steering group and a specialist group have been set up between the cooperation partners.

All public organisations can thus basically contribute meta data records on data.gv.at free of charge. If the data records are to be set up themselves on data.gv.at, the costs can be charged separately if there is a greater need for storage.

The costs for operating their own portal can thus be hugely reduced by joint usage.

A user manual is available at the address: www.data.gv.at/handbuch.

Open4data challenge 2016

Under the motto “Data seeking ideas, ideas seeking data”, the Federal Chancellery organised along with the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the city of Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Department of Strategy and Innovation, Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization) and the Danube University Krems (Department for eGovernance in Business and) the open 4data challenge 2016. This called upon organisations to address the topic of open data for citizens and to make it possible to use freely available data in as innovative and creative form as possible. The prizes were awarded in the categories: Ideas, Data Records and Solutions.

The award of the prizes for the challenge took place on 28 June 2016 in the Congress Hall of the Federal Chancellery and was the conclusion to a successful challenge. Both a specialist jury – consisting of 14 experts – as well as for the first time "the Crowd” submitted their rating for the 44 projects submitted: Overall, 228 people participated in the online voting with 975 ratings

Further information