Expert: Russia trudges on the way to openness of information

3 april 2015

"We continue our series of workshops, and our today's event will focus on the second important issue of the open data - issues of legal regulation of working with them", said Vasily Pushkin, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, opening the workshop "Legal regulation of open data: Russian and foreign experience".

Speaking about the international experience of legal regulation in the sphere of public data, Pavel Konotopov, the expert of the Open Government,  noted that the formation of systems in the field of open data developed in several directions. "International experience is divided into two lines: the first one is the Anglo-Saxon system of law, which is characteristic for the UK and the US, and the second one is a system of continental block, the Gregorian one, inherent in Western Europe", the expert said. Russia, by virtue of its traditions, belongs to the continental group of countries, and historically has developed another system of opening and closing of information, the expert considers.

Mr. Konotopov noted that the UK and the US passed through the events that changed the system of governance in these countries, in the 17-18 centuries. "Countries live in a system of the social contract between citizens and the state, which is based on a public contract, containing all the rights and freedoms. It includes a freedom of access to information, laid down in legal acts", said the expert. According to him, understanding of freedom is veiled in the continental model. "Our way is a way from closed to open information. It runs hard, and the main reason is the resistance to openness", considers Mr. Konotopov.

During the discussion, experts noted that the open data is a concept, formulated by non-government non-profit organizations and promoted to the level of international initiatives that have been linked through international treaties. "Russia joined the Charter of open data in 2013. This is a declaratory policy document. Pursuant to the Charter, Russia has developed an action plan for the development of open data in 2013, and identified ways in which the state is obliged to disclose the information", said Mr. Konotopov. But now, according to experts, the Russian Federation is far behind in the development of open data, occupying the last 8th place among member countries of the G8 on open data. Only 5% of the total amount of work was done, while the previous state, which occupies the 7th place, has this figure of almost 50%.

Report by the representative of JSC "Gosbook" Yuri Linkov, concerns the technical requirements for publication of open data. The specialist noted that there are three ways to publish the required information. "The data can be published in any of these ways: through open data section on the official website of the public authority, through open data portal of the public authority or through the open data portal of the Russian Federation", said Mr. Linkov.

The workshop was attended by representatives of federal and regional authorities, concerned government agencies and non-governmental organizations, the scientific community in the field of information technology.

The series of training seminars on open data is carried out by the Analytical Center in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Open Government. The first seminar, held at the Analytical Center on March 26, was devoted to main trends in the development of open data in the world. The final seminar will be held on April 9. Experts will have a look at most common errors in the publication of datasets on the Open data portal of the Russian Federation.

Learn more about the activities of the Analytical Center in open data in the Project section.