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Government Departments Each Posting Three High Value Data Sets Today — What do you think?

January 22, 2010

Today is the deadline under the Open Government Directive for each government department to post three high value data sets on The Directive states:

[E]ach agency shall identify and publish online in an open format at least three high-value data sets … and register those data sets via These must be data sets not previously available online or in a downloadable format.

The AP reports that the agencies required to put up data are: State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency, the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the Council of Economic Advisers.  Other agencies have indicated that they also will post new data sets even though they are not required to do so.

Some reports suggests that agencies are resisting this task (interesting article from NextGov), however.

According to the Directive:

High-value information is information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation.

Your feedback will help us assess how well the government is doing.  So, let us know what you think.  Here are a few questions:

(1) Is the data newly available?  In some instances agencies say the data is completely new, in other instances it is underlying raw data for already public reports.  What do you think?

(2) Is it available in a better form?  Some of the data was previously available, but not in electronic form or was not machine readable, was not available without a FOIA request, or there was a charge for the data.

(3) Is the data significant?  Will it advance the agency’s mission?  Does it advance accountability?  Does it create economic opportunity?  Does it respond to a frequent public information request?

Looking forward to your comments.

  1. the_matt permalink
    January 22, 2010 5:11 pm

    As best I can tell – at 4:09 pm CST – Transportation hasn’t added anything to

    On an unrelated note – what happened to Document Friday this week? I really look forward to that one every week…

  2. January 22, 2010 5:51 pm

    Sorry to disappoint. We will have a new one next week. Thank you for reading. Knowing that people enjoy that feature will definitely get our creative juices going.

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