TI Georgia calls on the government to include open data commitment in the OGP Action Plan
June 4, 2014, Tbilisi - Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) released today the report about Open Data, titled Defining and Measuring Open Data.
As part of the 2nd Open Governement Partnership action plan, currently being drafted by Ministry of Justice of Georgia, TI Georgia calls on the Georgian government to include Open Data as a commitment in the new action plan.
We are releasing this document today, not only to support this decision, but also to provide some help and guidance (e.g., clarification about what Open Data is and means, and how it can be measured over some datasets) for agencies and any parties wishing to open their data.
The document is structured in three parts: the first presents the 10 Open Data guidelines (what Open Data is, what it means). Then the document focuses on the Open Data Usability Index (ODUI): this section provides means to measure the "openness" of a given dataset. The last part of this document shows the application of the ODUI on several datasets, that were provided by different government agencies. We chose some datasets that we thought would be useful for the general public, but there are many more datasets available.
After applying the ODUI of these datasets, we made some general recommendations that can be found page 18 of the report (see PDF document below). We also noted the following about some specific datasets:
The Parliament voting record website (http://votes.parliament.ge/) is the website that got the highest score (75/100). The website provides information in a very accessible (both human and machine-readable) manner. In addition to this, the accuracy and relevancy of the data it carries is excellent, as this website provides an API: whatever changes is made on the data on the website is automatically made available programmatically for any third parties.
Several websites also earned a good score, like the 2012 and 2013 election result websites (http://results2012.cec.gov.ge/ and http://results2013.cec.gov.ge/). Each of these websites consists of just a handful pages, but all the relevant information is there, easily accessible, displayed in a open format, which enhances its re-usability.
The website that got the lowest score (55.8325/100) is the National Statistics of Georgia (http://geostat.ge/). This is an interesting case: given the nature of this website, a great amount of information can be found there, which makes geostat.ge a great resource. However, we found out that in order to get some complete datasets, one has to pay a certain amount, depending of the nature of the data, as shown in this document: http://geostat.ge/cms/files/September%202012_Eng.pdf. This, unfortunately, decreased a lot the "openness" score defined by the ODUI, as free information is a strong component of what defines Open Data.
Another website that earned a low score in relation to the other studied dataset is the Revenue Service, after we focused on the "Export and Import" pages (http://www.rs.ge/Default.aspx?sec_id=5099&lang=2). Relevant and detailed information is shown on these pages, but 2 aspects took the score down: first of all, the data is only shown as graphs, which doesn't allow any immediate re-usability by a third-party. Secondly, in order to access data, filling a form and submitting it is necessary: that impedes the accessibility of the data, as opposed to data that would be available directly via url.