Open and publically accessible data strengthens our democracy by increasing public participation in government, promoting transparency and accountability, increasing efficiency and effectiveness in government operations, and empowering individuals and businesses to create jobs and new industries that improve Americans’ quality of life.
The Administration has made significant progress in improving the management of information resources to increase interoperability and openness. In executive order 13642 President Obama outlined a clear vision for “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information” wherever possible and legally permissible. The subsequently released Open Data Policy (OMB memorandum M-13-13) directed agencies to effectively “manage the information as a strategic asset” throughout its lifecycle and make data open by default to the extent permitted by law, while ensuring strict controls to safeguard individual privacy, confidentiality, and national security.
As a direct result, Americans are getting better access to government information and services they need. Homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages now get prompt, clear responses because companies are competing based on open consumer financial product complaint data published by CFPB, and can stay in their homes. Similarly, patients can now comparison shop to see which hospitals have the best outcomes and best prices thanks to data published by Medicaid and HHS—including a new dataset that for the first time shows what hospitals charge for inpatient services associated with the 100 most common kinds of hospital stays, revealing huge variations in hospital charges across the country and even within metro areas.
To drive further impact and results, the Open Data CAP Goal will focus on a series of government-wide objectives, strategies and major metrics that facilitate and gauge the outcome-oriented and management improvement goals of Open Data. Metrics will prioritize three channels of impact measurement: impact on economic value creation organizations, impact on existing public program outcomes, and impact on internal government efficiency.