The OPEN Government Data Act is on its way to being law

(Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)


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The OPEN Government Data Act is awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature to become the law of the land.

The bill, which would require that all non-sensitive government data be made available in machine readable formats by default, was incorporated as Title II of Speaker Paul Ryan’s Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. The FEBP Act passed the Senate and was reconciled with a House version Dec. 22.

The OPEN Government Data Act was first introduced as a stand-alone measure in the House in April. It’s a popular bipartisan bill, with heavy support from the open data community.

“The passage of the OPEN Government Data Act is a win for the open data community,” Sarah Joy Hays, the acting executive director of the Data Coalition, said in a statement. “Ultimately, it will improve the way our government runs and serves its citizens.” OPEN stands for Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary.

The legislation also codifies and elevates the role of the chief data officer at federal agencies by requiring that each agency assign a qualified nonpolitical appointee to the job.

It’s unclear how the current government shutdown will impact the timing of President Trump’s signature.

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Data Coalition, Donald Trump, House of Representatives, open data, OPEN Government Data Act, Senate