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Canadian government criticized for being 'behind the times' when it comes to open data

May 16, 2013

While the U.S. and Britain have implemented firm policies for transparency and open government needs, territories, cities and local governments in Canada are still lacking in this area. According to Canada.com, the country as a whole needs to step up its open data efforts and get with the times. With the rest of the first world pulling ahead of the nation in open and transparent government concerns, it is time for the Canadian government to begin examining its own needs and ensure that its current open government standards meet public expectations for easy access to information.

According to the news source, open data is still a relatively new concept, and while Canada has a policy in place that deals with it, there are no laws or deadlines in place to enforce the rules. As such, some territories are ignoring the guidelines while others aren't offering the data that the public actually wants. Even the Canadian Post is struggling to understand what open government means, as it claims the nation's postal codes, as well as those two words themselves, are trademarked.

In order to turn its open government efforts around and get a handle on public engagement and transparency, the Canadian government and its local branches needs to reconsider its policies and establish stricter rules and deadlines to meet them. Additionally, the nation needs to invest in solutions such as legislative management that help it accomplish those standards.

If local offices across Canada invested in high-quality data and meeting management software from IQM2, they could expedite open government efforts and focus on improving other areas of operations. Transparency shouldn't be a chore, but as an important obligation to citizens, it is critical that government offices get it right. By investing in solutions to streamline those efforts, various agencies across Canada can make sure they are approaching those efforts in an intelligent, supported way. Tony Clement, president of the treasure board of Canada, recently told a reporter that the country plans to relaunch its government data portal this year, but without any express funding to support the integration of other open government efforts. Sometimes funding has to be in place in order to bring these efforts the rest of the way smoothly or a government office will continue to struggle when it comes to transparency.