Executive Office of the President May 9, 2013 Memorandum “Open Data Policy — Managing Information as an Asset”

See:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies (M-13-13) dated May 9, 2013 — SUBJECT: Open Data Policy — Managing Information as An Asset

The accompanying Executive Order of May 9, 2013 — Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information — is here and reads as follows:

 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
May 09, 2013

Executive Order — Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- – - – - – -

MAKING OPEN AND MACHINE READABLE THE NEW DEFAULT
FOR GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. General Principles. Openness in government strengthens our democracy, promotes the delivery of efficient and effective services to the public, and contributes to economic growth. As one vital benefit of open government, making information resources easy to find, accessible, and usable can fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery that improves Americans’ lives and contributes significantly to job creation.

Decades ago, the U.S. Government made both weather data and the Global Positioning System freely available. Since that time, American entrepreneurs and innovators have utilized these resources to create navigation systems, weather newscasts and warning systems, location-based applications, precision farming tools, and much more, improving Americans’ lives in countless ways and leading to economic growth and job creation. In recent years, thousands of Government data resources across fields such as health and medicine, education, energy, public safety, global development, and finance have been posted in machine-readable form for free public use on Data.gov. Entrepreneurs and innovators have continued to develop a vast range of useful new products and businesses using these public information resources, creating good jobs in the process.

To promote continued job growth, Government efficiency, and the social good that can be gained from opening Government data to the public, the default state of new and modernized Government information resources shall be open and machine readable. Government information shall be managed as an asset throughout its life cycle to promote interoperability and openness, and, wherever possible and legally permissible, to ensure that data are released to the public in ways that make the data easy to find, accessible, and usable. In making this the new default state, executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall ensure that they safeguard individual privacy, confidentiality, and national security.

Sec. 2. Open Data Policy. (a) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), shall issue an Open Data Policy to advance the
management of Government information as an asset, consistent with my memorandum of January 21, 2009 (Transparency and Open Government), OMB Memorandum M-10-06 (Open Government Directive), OMB and National Archives and Records Administration Memorandum M-12-18 (Managing Government Records Directive), the Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum of February 22, 2013 (Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research), and the CIO’s strategy entitled “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.” The Open Data Policy shall be updated as needed.

(b) Agencies shall implement the requirements of the Open Data Policy and shall adhere to the deadlines for specific actions specified therein. When implementing the Open Data Policy, agencies shall incorporate a full analysis of privacy, confidentiality, and security risks into each stage of the information lifecycle to identify information that should not be released. These review processes should be overseen by the senior agency official for privacy. It is vital that agencies not release information if doing so would violate any law or policy, or jeopardize privacy, confidentiality, or national security.

Sec. 3. Implementation of the Open Data Policy. To facilitate effective Government-wide implementation of the Open Data Policy, I direct the following:

(a) Within 30 days of the issuance of the Open Data Policy, the CIO and CTO shall publish an open online repository of tools and best practices to assist agencies in integrating the Open Data Policy into their operations in furtherance of their missions. The CIO and CTO shall regularly update this online repository as needed to ensure it remains a resource to facilitate the adoption of open data practices.

(b) Within 90 days of the issuance of the Open Data Policy, the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management, CIO, and Administrator of OIRA shall work with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, Chief Financial Officers Council, Chief Information Officers Council, and Federal Records Council to identify and initiate implementation of measures to support the integration of the Open Data Policy requirements into Federal acquisition and grant-making processes. Such efforts may include developing sample requirements language, grant and contract language, and workforce tools for agency acquisition, grant, and information management and technology professionals.

(c) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) shall work with the President’s Management Council to establish a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal to track implementation of the Open Data Policy. The CPO shall work with agencies to set incremental performance goals, ensuring they have metrics and milestones in place to monitor advancement toward the CAP Goal. Progress on these goals shall be analyzed and reviewed by agency leadership, pursuant to the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-352).

(d) Within 180 days of the date of this order, agencies shall report progress on the implementation of the CAP Goal to the CPO. Thereafter, agencies shall report progress quarterly, and as appropriate.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) Nothing in this order shall compel or authorize the disclosure of privileged information, law enforcement information, national security information, personal information, or information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law.

(e) Independent agencies are requested to adhere to this order.

BARACK OBAMA

Some approving commentary — Alexander B. Howard, “The Best Thing Obama’s Done This Month: His executive order to open government data is a really big deal,” Slate.com — is here.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

“Judges and Their Papers” by Kathryn A. Watts, Univ. of Washington School of Law — Who should own a federal judge’s papers?

University of Washington (UW) School of Law Associate Professor Kathryn A. Watt’s subject, thought-provoking paper is here.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

A Helpful Resource (that’s been around a while): AALL’s Legislative Action Center

A helpful resource on current U.S. federal and state legislative activity — which has been around a while (since October 2011, actually, per this posting) — is the American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL’s):

Legislative Action Center (LAC)

Content at the LAC frequently includes convenient “Advocacy One-Pagers” — see, for example:

  • here ["Urge your Representative to Support the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380)], &
  • here [PDF of Advocacy One-Pager "Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act"]

The LAC is helpfully searchable too, per the following layout:

Search within Government Relations

[Advanced Search]

Cross-posted on Legal Research Plus.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

A plea to scholars

Dear scholars,

Please pay attention to where you place your scholarship.   Are you aware of the cost of some journal subscriptions?  One example, of many, is the Journal of Law & Society.  The Stanford Law Library used to get this print subscription with discounted rate and paid $161 for the current 2013 print subscription. We just received word from Hein (who handles the subscription for us) that the publisher will begin to charge us the full price with an additional payment of $851.00.

What made me think of this was the receipt yesterday of a new publication from my hero Carl Malamud.  Carl has become quite the pamphleteer and his most recent is On Crime and Access to Knowledge.    I urge you all to read it.

In the pamphlet, Carl tells the story of the late Aaron Swartz and discusses JSTOR, PACER, and broader information access issues such as Carl’s heroic efforts to make public safety documents, such as building codes, available to the public.

But on the issue of what Aaron did with JSTOR, Carl makes this important point:

. . . One must remember that JSTOR is a messenger, an intermediary, and if there is fault here, that fault is ultimately the fault of the scholars who wrote those articles and allowed them to be locked up.  It was a corruption of scholarship when the academy handed over copyright to knowledge so that it could be rationed in order to extract rents.

Please think twice before you place a piece of your scholarship with a particular journal.  Find out what it costs to subscribe to the journal; find out what databases include its text (your librarian can help with this); ask the journal if you can retain ownership and publication rights.  And ask yourself:  Do you really want your scholarship tightly locked up behind expensive pay walls?

 

Legislative Research & Intent LLC (LRI) Launches “Online Store” Research

Legislative Research & Intent LLC (LRI) has launched an

“Online Store”

and California legislative history and legislative intent research is reportedly available to academic patrons (law school faculty and students) at no charge.

Content is described as follows:

  • 1943-2006
    Every regular session California bill that became law from 1943 through 2006 is covered in this part of our unique, groundbreaking database. No other service offers this comprehensive coverage. While the number of available files varies per bill, we provide one or more sources of legislative history for every bill that passed.
  • 2007-Current
    Selected, regular session California bills that became law from 2007 to current are covered in this part of our database. Because it consists of files from our precompiled legislative histories, multiple files are provided for each bill. If your bill is not found, consider our Custom or Core reports, or contact us.

Carolina Rose

Carolina C. Rose, J.D., President
Legislative Research & Intent LLC
1107 9th Street, Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-7660 Phone
(800) 530-7613 Toll Free
(916) 442-1529 Fax
Carolina.Rose@lrihistory.com
www.lrihistory.com

has very kindly provided the following updated information about LRI’s offer here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

LLRX.com Posts “Statistics Resources and Big Data on the Internet 2013″

LLRX.com has posted

Statistics Resources and Big Data on the Internet 2013

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

New Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: “The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) earlier this month released and posted a valuable new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)-related report:

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress
By Wendy Ginsberg, Analyst in American National Government
March 8, 2013
R41933

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to Launch April 18-19, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) — which is intended to lead “the first concrete steps toward” making “the cultural and scientific record available to all” (please see here) — is scheduled to open with a series of “launch” events on April 18-19, 2013 at the Boston Public Library.

Please see:

With New Leader, Digital Public Library of America Prepares for Its Debut

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

New Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Case to Protect Free Speech Rights of Online Archive Public.Resource.org

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a complaint on behalf of Public.Resource.Org — under signature of Lead Attorney for EFF Corynne McSherry, a Stanford Law School graduate — in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California:

Public.Resource.Org v. Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. [SMACNA] (N.D. Cal. Dkt. No. 13-00815)

EFF has:

asked a federal judge today to protect the free speech rights of an online archive of laws and legal standards after a wrongheaded copyright claim forced the removal of a document detailing important technical standards required by the federal government and several states.

Please see: “Free Speech Battle Over Publication of Federal Law” (February 22, 2013)

And please find the complaint here.

For more information about Public.Resource.Org, please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Major New White House Policy on Open Access Announced

John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued a memorandum – ”Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” — last Friday, February 22, 2013, the first sentence of which states:

The Administration is committed to ensuring that, to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law and the objectives set out below, the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.

Please see here for the entire memorandum.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.