White House Staff Indicates Machine-Readable Data Will Become Normal Practice; Echoes USACM Recommendations From 2009

By David Bruggeman
January 8, 2013

During his appearance at a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park indicated that there would be new government data policies announced in 2013. This follows on the Digital Government Strategy announced in the summer of 2012.

One of these policies will be to “makes open and computer readable the default status of new data created by the government going forward.” This has been a longstanding recommendation of many in open data and open government circles, including USACM. Back in February 2009 USACM issued policy recommendations in this area to encourage greater use and re-use of government data. The first two recommendations speak directly to making data open and computer readable:

  • Data published by the government should be in formats and approaches that promote analysis and reuse of that data.
  • Data republished by the government that has been received or stored in a machine-readable format (such as online regulatory filings) should preserve the machine-readability of that data.

USACM looks forward to the formal announcement of these policies and the continued expansion of open government projects like the data.gov website.