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Open Data – from EO to Law

With President Obama’s imminent departure from the White House, it is essential that we make into law the important Executive Orders (EO) that he has issued.  Each president has the ability to create their own or delete a previous president’s EO.  We hope to ensure that President Obama’s EO, Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, is made permanent through the OPEN Government Data Act (S. 2852 / H.R. 5051).
This bi-partisan legislation:ogr-issues-symbols_government-information

  • Requires data to be machine-readable and use open formats that are based on standards.
  • It requires data to use open licenses and include metadata.
  • It requires the data be interoperable and accessible.
  • Calls for the creation and maintenance of an enterprise data inventory.
  • Strengthens privacy and confidentiality.
  • Offers OMB the opportunity to exempt national security systems like what is in the policy but it does not exempt the DOD.

On May 6, ALA joined with coalition partners to send a letter of support to both the House and Senate. While we know that there is support for these bills, given how few legislative days remain in the 114th Congress, we are concerned that they may fall through the cracks.

Today the Washington Office sent a targeted alert to three specific congressional districts (Reps. Hurd (R-TX), Meadows (R-NC), and Connolly (D-VA)). If you did not receive this alert, it does not mean that we do not need your help!  We are hoping to garner co-sponsorship from these Representatives and will then move on to the rest of the House. Keep an eye out and fingers crossed that things will continue to move forward and we will be calling on you next!

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Jessica McGilvray

Jessica McGilvray is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

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