VanRoekel: Open data policy to be published in early 2013


The Office of Management and Budget plans to release a governmentwide open data policy in early 2013.

According to Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, the policy will be informed by open data initiatives now underway by the Presidential Innovation Fellows. VanRoekel said OMB will "learn from and build on" the fellows' work and by early 2013 it will have distilled takeaways from their efforts into a comprehensive policy for agencies and departments.  

"The policy will require agencies to start buying in different ways, to start building in different ways," said VanRoekel during an Oct. 11 event.

"That doesn't mean we're choosing a specific vendor or solution...the evolution and the maturity of the standards process in the area of open data is leading the way on that," he added.

While OMB is waiting on the results of projects led by the fellows, it's falling behind on a self-imposed deadline.

According to the Digital Government Strategy, which VanRoekel unveiled May 23, OMB was to issue a governmentwide open data, content and web application programming interface policy within 6 months of the strategy's release. By the same date it was also required to identify standards and best practices for improved data interoperability. Nov. 23 marked the 6-month deadline under the strategy.  

But OMB isn't the only agency or group lagging on its Digital Government Strategy deliverables. The General Services Administration, GSA's digital services innovation center, the Federal CIO Council, the federal web managers council, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Archives and Records Administration were all on the hook for the Nov. 23 deadline.

A GSA spokesperson said, because "OMB has the lead," GSA plans to hold any Digital Government Strategy-related action until OMB makes formal announcements on the next set of milestones.  

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