Government Authorities Improve the Quality of Work with Open Data

1 april 2016

Earlier at a meeting of the Open Data Council, the first open data publishing rating of federal executive authorities and regional governments of the Russian Federation for 2015 was presented. The Federal Statistics Service got the highest score, pulling far ahead with 849 open data sets published in 2015. It is followed by the Federal Roads Service with 96 publications, the Ministry of Education and Science with 69 publications, the Finance Ministry with 65 publications and the Ministry of Energy with 55 published open data sets. Tula Oblast, Kostroma Oblast and Moscow were the top three regions in terms of the amount of published open data.

“When compiling the rating we were looking not just at the number of open data sets published by each government authority but also at the amount of views and downloads that each data set got, user ratings and the relevance of the data sets,” said Vasily Pushkin, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center. Many state authorities want to publish as many data sets as possible, without paying due attention to the relevance of the data in question, the expert stressed.

Priority must be given to data sets that developers and common people want to have access to. Efforts must focus on data that have a high demand potential. A lot of good quality work went into this rating; now appropriate conclusions should be drawn and recommendations should be made for various government authorities. Issues need to be debated with them to identify errors and share best practices,” Mikhail Abyzov, Ministry for Open Government Affairs of Russia commented on the rating.

Over 7 thousand data sets have been published on the common open data portal and the number of downloads has exceeded one million, Vasily Pushkin said. What has transpired so far is that a lot of ministries and government agencies do not publish all the data they are supposed to disclose as open data on the open data portal and often only publish such data on their own websites. Mr. Abyzov called for this practice to be abolished and for legal requirements to be introduced obligating state authorities to publish all the data they are supposed to disclose on the common open data portal and not just on their own websites. Otherwise, the common portal simply will not work, the minister warned.

The rating is to be compiled on a quarterly basis and the rating for Q1 of this year is to be published shortly.

The meeting of the Open Data Council approved the standard list of information recommended for disclosure by regional governments. The list includes 19 standard data sets, including such in-demand information as schemes for the siting of advertising billboards, information about major local repair programs, public transport routes and rates. The list also includes information about organizations offering social protection for the population, regional employment centers, cultural properties, sporting and healthcare facilities and others. The list is not final and may be expanded to embrace new expert recommendations.

Members of the Council also approved a proposal to hold a second Russian national contest on open data in Russia from April through December 2016. It has been suggested that this year emphasis should be placed on such socially significant areas as education and healthcare. The first such contest was held last year with the support of the Open Government and the Analytical Center of the Russian Government. Over a hundred unique projects and mobile service ideas were presented at the contest.

Based on Open Government materials.

Follow this link to see the open data publication rating of state and regional authorities for 2015