The Data Foundation and Deloitte issued a report on the milestone legislation revamping data policies across federal agencies was enacted into law in January 2019.
- The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (Evidence Act) (PL 115-435), which includes the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data (OPEN) Act, received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.
- The Evidence Act and OPEN collectively recognize that using data is essential for the practice of evidence-based policymaking to occur. The overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress suggests policymakers are also now demanding that agencies also become better positioned to increasingly and meaningfully use high-quality evidence to inform key decisions.
OPEN provides an important boost for federal data management by ensuring that agencies are properly tracking, managing, and publishing their datasets. In the coming years, this should lead to increased data quality and higher rates of data use and reuse across government and for society.
OPEN expands efforts launched under the Obama administration,21 codifying key data management requirements, including data inventories and strong metadata standards. The requirement for a comprehensive data inventory includes all data assets created by, collected by, under the control or direction of, or maintained by the agency.22 The law also requires those data assets to be supported by strong metadata, which should help ensure that agency data assets are functionally useful to interested parties.23 Finally, OPEN encourages agencies to engage with their data stakeholders, working to increase public and agency use of government data, and making government data more discoverable.
About: The Data Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to define an open future for our data, for a better government and society. The Data Foundation provides research, analysis, education, and programming that aims to improve the country’s data policies. As the country’s leading data policy think tank, the Data Foundation supports informed dialogue and thought leadership on emerging strategies and applications for accessing, using, and applying data in ways that are useful for decision-making. http://www.datafoundation.org/