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New open data guidelines released by White House

May 10, 2013

A new executive order from the White House will further open and transparent government efforts across the country. Rather than focusing on the type or frequency of information being released, the new policy mandates the format that information is collected and published in. This order updates the federal government's open data policy to ensure that information is published in open, non-proprietary and machine-readable formats.

According to NextGov, the order gives agencies six months to comply and create an inventory of their datasets and an online portal to provide the public with access to that information. Additionally, offices will need to create a system to gather feedback from the public in order to optimize the way data is presented.

"Starting today, we're making even more government data available online, which will help launch even more new startups," President Obama said in a statement. "And we're making it easier for people to find the data and use it, so that entrepreneurs can build products and services we haven't even imagined yet."

Ultimately, the intention of the new mandate is to improve the sharing of information between government agencies, the private sector and U.S. citizens. These efforts will help raise public awareness of government activities and bolster business enterprises and the economy. The Sunlight Foundation and other transparency and open government advocate groups have praised the order and noted that it will be a great boon to the American people.

Open data efforts are essential to modern governing and public engagement, and local government offices can do their part by investing in high-quality legislative management software to bolster the organization and management of data. From meeting minutes to budget information, local offices can improve their own transparency efforts in order to improve government and business operations.

Ultimately, the new mandate will ensure that government operations are optimized for the digital age. With the right open data solutions from IQM2, government offices will be able to embrace transparency and the needs of modern governing. Local councils should embrace open data and the need for public access, and ensure that they are using the best tools for meeting management possible, ensuring that citizens have the information they need to be involved in government operations at their disposal.