As Chair of the Open Data Governance Board, I am delighted to welcome the publication of the Open Data Strategy 2017 – 2022 which was developed by the Board in conjunction with the Open Data Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform and in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including public bodies, business, research/academia, library and information professionals and civil society. The Strategy was also subject to a public consultation which built on previous consultations and engagement which have taken place around the Open Data Initiative. This is a fantastic opportunity for us all to further develop the Open Data landscape in accordance with best practice and enable Ireland to lead in Open Data.
We are delighted that the Strategy has the support of the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan T.D. who when welcoming the publication of the Strategy said “Openness and transparency is a key government priority. Opening up government data will empower citizens, foster innovation and reform public services and I believe that implementation of this Strategy will deliver significant opportunities for Ireland over the next 5 years".
Since the onset of the Open Data initiative in 2014, significant progress has been made in promoting the use of Open Data. The national portal data.gov.ie has been significantly enhanced since it was put in place in 2014 and currently links to over 5,200 datasets from some 96 publishers. It also now features a ‘Suggest a Dataset’ function where you can suggest datasets that you would like to see available on the portal and further enhancements are planned. The Open Data Strategy 2017-2022 builds on the substantial achievements made in implementing the Open Data Initiative and sets out a roadmap for continued progress and development.
I would ask public bodies to participate in the process of opening up this valuable resource. I would also like to encourage engagement with and between the broad community of stakeholders including business, research and academics, civil society and citizens, media library, information professionals and others to promote and encourage the use and re-use of Open Data.
To complement the work being done with public bodies, the Board has an important role in building relationships with the people and organisations that are most likely to use the data and in developing an understanding of how Ireland’s Open Data is, or may be used, to deliver benefits – economic, social or democratic and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members in this regard.
I am hugely optimistic that, by working together, we can achieve an Open Data environment that is comparable with the very best and firmly believe that this Strategy will deliver significant opportunities for Ireland over the next 5 years and beyond.
The Minister's Press Release can be read here.