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Canada unveils open government data plan

Canada: The President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor, Tony Clement, announced Canada’s membership in the international Open Government Partnership. The Minister presented Canada’s Open Government Action Plan and endorsed the partnership’s declaration of principles as Canada’s final steps toward membership in the Partnership.

According to Geoff Zeiss, Director Utility Industry Program, Autodesk, Inc., the fundamental principle is the issuing of a government-wide directive that will make government information and data available to the public by default. The pilot Open Data Portal now has a total of over 272,000 data sets including geospatial data from 20 organisations.

“Our Open Government Action Plan demonstrates Canada’s commitment to the principles laid out in the Open Government Partnership Declaration, which we fully endorse. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver on the commitments we have made here,” said Minister Clement.

The commitments in the Action Plan that will be implemented over the next three years include:
– Issuing a government-wide directive that will make government
 -Information and data available to the public by default
-Expanding access to Open Data
-Engaging Canadians through modern Web 2.0 tools
-Public engagement on regulatory reform

The goals of the Open Government Partnership include the adoption of concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

“In this profoundly globalised world, countries have an even greater need to learn from each other. Fortunately, globalisation and the technological innovations that have helped drive it, enable us to do just that. The Open Government Partnership provides a forum for countries to improve public services, more effectively manage public resources and increase public integrity,” said Minister Clement.

Canada’s Action Plan was developed through consultations with citizens, the private sector, civil society and other levels of government.

Source: Between the Poles & Market Watch