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Dutch National Open Data Agenda to facilitate open data publication

Author: Adrian Offerman

Last week, the Dutch Minister of the Interior, Ronald Plasterk sent the government's National Open Data Agenda (NODA) in a letter to the Dutch parliament. The agenda aims to make as many high-value datasets as possible available for re-use. It will provide tools to keep track of progress and quality, and support for data managers in opening up their datasets.

The NODA's actions for 2016 are grouped in three clusters:

  • inventory and availability of datasets:
    • the Dutch ministries will perform a second data inventory and provide a timeline for the publication of their datasets;
    • the ministries will specifically look for high-value datasets;
  • monitoring progress and quality:
    • the Ministry of the Interior will continue monitoring progress through the Dutch national open data portal data.overheid.nl;
    • where needed, the Ministry will provide support to increase the quality of the metadata of the datasets; the Ministry will also make available an open data guideline and an instruction manual for publishing data;
  • support in publicing and techniques for data managers;
    an online platform will be created to channel needs and questions of users:
    • a user group for data.overheid.nl and cross-sector issues will be created;
    • the existing support organisation will be enlarged; it will help government agencies in opening up and publishing datasets on data.overheid.nl, and answer questions related to technique, organisation and licences.

Publishing as a basic principle

The NODA follows the 2014 and 2015 Trend Reports on Open Data by the Dutch Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer).

Last september, Plasterk called for more government data to be made available for free to the public. Public agencies are often not aware of the value of the data they collect, he said. Publishing should become a basic principle.