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What .gov Data to Share?

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 22:22:00 -0500
To: "'eGov IG'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <006e01c9880a$13d61ee0$3b825ca0$@Ambur@verizon.net>
The eGov IG's draft Group Note poses the question "What Data?" should be
made available:  http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/Group/docs/note#What 


I agree with the views of Vivek Kundra, who is reportedly in line for
appointment as administrator for e-government and information technology in
the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration.  See the
quotations attributed to him in last paragraph of the article at


The obvious answer is that *all* public information should be made readily
available to the public in readily reusable (XML) format.


The U.S. the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lists nine exemptions
covering the types of information that should *not* be made public:


One of President Obama's first acts in the White House was to issue guidance


All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to
renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a
new era of open Government.  The presumption of disclosure should be applied
to all decisions involving FOIA.


The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take
affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for
specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology
to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government.



The latter statements essentially restate what Congress has already
enshrined in law, in the E-FOIA amendments, which are highlighted in bold
at:  http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foia_updates/Vol_XVII_4/page2.htm 


Recall, too, that in the eGov Act, Congress took the highly unusual step of
explicitly citing a technical standard for sharing information, namely
"extensible markup language".  See the text highlighted in red at


The direction that has been given is quite clear.  The only question is what
new excuses will be made for not moving out forthrightly to following it.


Owen Ambur

Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP <http://xml.gov/index.asp>   

Co-Chair, AIIM StratML <http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm>  Committee

Member, AIIM iECM Committee

Invited Expert, W3C eGov <http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/>  IG

Membership Director, FIRM Board <http://firmcouncil.org/id5.html>   

Former Project Manager, ET.gov <http://et.gov/>  

Brief Bio <http://ambur.net/bio.htm>  

Received on Friday, 6 February 2009 03:23:14 UTC

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