Information transparent and open data in government are the cornerstone of citizen participation - which facilitates effective value-added data application and deems as an important part of economic growth and governance around the world. To match this global trend and accelerate the open data in governance, the Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA) initiated The Advance Action Plan for Open Government Data which further research and development specific ways to promote the policy of open government data. The purpose of such plan is to drive and deepen the open data in government offices, and improve the governance model collaborated by government and civil source, in order to make Taiwan become an open global benchmark.
- Open– according to the “Open Definition,” an open work shall meets the criteria such as: open license, convenient access, and open format. Saying that, everyone is permitted free to access, use, revise and share as long as the source has been cited sufficiently.
- Government open data – government agencies release their data, in open format and according to the “Open Definition,” to the public, including individuals, schools, communities, enterprises or other government agencies for download and use in demand.
- Scope – the electronic data, including texts, data, photos, images, sounds and metadata that are acquired or composed by the agencies under duties and regulations, these are permitted to be disclosure according to law.
3. Current Status
Vast growth in open data
From Apr. 2013 to Oct. 2017, more than 32,000 datasets had been opened by the government, and they were with applying-valued datasets of public interests and economic development. Therefore, it is a huge growth for progress of dataset collection, especially comparing to the end of 2012, as there were only 3,377 datasets.
Thematic promotion of open data
In order to promote the government to open the content of information in line with the demand of civil society, the government has invited relevant ministries, departments and civil society to discuss about the main focus of application and together promote the application as the core of dataset.
As for providing the guidance for industries, conducting innovative application contest and cultivating talents in open data, in 2014, we held contests and assisted private use of open data for innovative applications. A total of 68 innovative applications were counted and rewarded for 15 new start-ups.
4. Current Issue Encountered
Insufficient of organizational data and data value of awareness
Although there are 12,200 units in the database, the concept of open data which accepted by government agencies is still lower than the status in U.S. Even so, the government agencies have the concept of open data, still a lack of initiative boost in opening up, yet it fully understood the value of open data to the agencies.
Inexplicit regulation for the right of using information
Since the knowledge of open data is still insufficient in government agencies, worry about the danger of being open against the law, or bias on explaining limited-open license or additional conditional of openness to reduce the willingness for public to use.
Weak connection between open data and public application
Citizen participation mechanisms and channels still need to be improved. The authorities failed to fully grasp the demands of civil applications and the government data that is open to the public did not meet the application requirements. Therefore, it could not promote civil industries development and bring it to a brighter stage.
5. Specific Method
Establish open government data consultation
Build two-tier system of open data
The Information Office of Executive Yuan and central government agencies at secondary level shall serve as conveners and invite business experts, public (associations), representatives of social organizations, and scholars with relevant academic expertise or practical experience to compose the open data advisory groups, and set-up the communication rules between government and public, and analysis the public application needs.
Expand the scale of open data
Along with the following four steps: inventory reference, data rights inspection, data scope and authorization selection, and then datasets publication, each agency can be, based on database and public opinions, planning, executing, and accomplishing the open data process about their responsibilities each year.
Open data into administrative procedure
All agencies shall include open data in their standard administrative procedures in order to construct the process of data collection, sort out, openness and update. Ministries shall coordinate relevant agencies and domestic government shall supervise them for setting standard and provision of open data regarding to the leading of domestic government and public to expand the scale of open data. The government agencies shall review and strengthen the open data based on the standard of international open data comparing with other governments implementation and current relevant regulations in Taiwan.
Establish trustable environment
Set up guidelines for open data
Considering the global trend for open data and domestic need, we shall adopt online opinions and discussion, and through the public and government cooperation to set up guidelines. Any serious set of guidelines will expand the scale, elevate the quality, and strengthen the law foundation of open data.
Alleviated the licenses of open government data
To standardize the licenses of open data and co-occur with international open data trends, “Open Government Data License” was co-organized by public, central government and domestic government. The license will be kept updating along with the global trend to gradually satisfy users’ needs.
Set principle of open data classification and authorization
In order to assist government agencies to sort-out their data, Executive Yuan and relevant ministries together localize data reuse under private law and build up the principle for government data classification and authorization. If the datasets need to be charged, each government agencies should consult widely to enlist standards for rate, and then submit it to the central government advisory group.
Set evaluation system for data quality
Referring to the relevant international organizations that promote open data such as IBRD, OKFN, and Open Data Barometer, government, public, and enterprise shall co-develop an open data evaluating system. With properly evaluating the quality of open data and such impact to government, the result will help government develop improving mechanism for open data.
Government-civil cooperation to promote application
Create government-civil cooperation models
Government agencies should set-up the public cooperation mechanism, and public should assist the government to elevate data quality and feedback advice. Taking public issues as a starting point, government will activate the value-added energy and provoke the application of ideas. Moreover, it is necessary to build-up feedback mechanism to record the revised data from public. The revised data will enhance the operational efficiency and decision-making quality of government agencies and promote the application of data related to public development.
Establishing a cooperation model among industry, government, academic and research, to cultivate expertise for interpret and apply government and public sources, and discover the crux of the problems in governance. Therefore, the cooperation model will enhance the quality of government administration and effectiveness of public affairs.
Create cooperation model between government and civil data centers
Taking government open data platform as an exchange platform, government and civil data centers shall co-establish a collaborative framework for automatically machine-to-machine data interpretation, to accelerate the release of government information and its innovative use.
Public data centers can play the role of a non-governmental force to work together to streamline the formatting of data, set-up data correction and feedback mechanisms, integrate government agencies in various countries with open data, and provide innovative enterprises and government agencies to establish application models in public data centers.
Lead open data development of service industry
The Ministry of Economic Affairs through the development of multiple innovative data services and personnel, promote subsidies in the data-service industrial chain, and the application of benchmarking materials. All the above supports cultivating a variety of professionals required for the data use, guiding new start-ups in order to improve Taiwan’s international visibility, and developing economic value of data.
6. Expected Benefits
In order to improve and promote open data, MODA will improve and facilitate the quality and quantity of open data, targeting to open 30,000 datasets in 2020. A prosperous open data platform will improve the governance model through the innovation and vitality data application by public organization and citizen. Moreover, it’s necessary to construct a data ecosystem to collection of public wisdom and creativity. With a robust ecosystem, open government data will promote the transparency of government operations, optimize government service and enhance the economic benefits of public applications.
Data application on governance
Through re-locating the value of data, opening governance-related data and developing the cooperative and accountable relationship with the public, and integrating cross-institutions and combing with the public force, open government data will drive government reengineering, developing information integration services, expanding the public interest and enhancing governance quality and efficiency.
Energizing the public economy
In combination with the cross-border cooperation among public society, a data eco-system shall be re-constructed to drive the development of data economy. Government can utilize mechanisms as nurturing and subsidies to help industrial applications. Another supplement is to cultivating the expert proficiency in use of open data, in order to lead the development of data service industries and public economy.