Home PublicationsCommentary Center for Data Innovation Applauds House Passage of Open Data Legislation

Center for Data Innovation Applauds House Passage of Open Data Legislation

by Joshua New
Press release

WASHINGTON–The Center for Data Innovation today applauded the passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking (FEBP) Act of 2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes the bipartisan Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act. The Center issued the following statement from Director Daniel Castro:

The Foundations for Evidenced-Based Policymaking (FEBP) Act is an important step in creating the information infrastructure necessary to enable future policymaking to be grounded in facts and figures. The House of Representatives has sent a clear signal that, when it comes to open data, the United States plans to be open for business. The federal government controls an enormous supply of valuable data. These datasets exist because of taxpayer support for government operations, so they should freely available to the public. This in turn would encourage innovation, spur economic growth, increase government transparency, and power new tools and services to address some of the country’s most pressing economic and social challenges. 

Federal government data is only available to the public because of executive order, not as a matter of federal law. The OPEN Government Data Act would ensure that government data continues to be open and available for anyone who wants to work with it, and guarantee that the federal government releases valuable datasets, follows best practices, and commits to openness by default. 

Since the Senate has already voted to pass the OPEN Government Data Act, we hope it will move quickly to consider the additional provisions in the FEBP Act. The Center for Data Innovation was the first organization to call attention to the need for comprehensive federal legislation to secure the future of open data in the U.S. government, and once passed, we look forward to working with Congress and the administration to implement the open data provisions of the legislation.

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