The Finnish legal databank Finlex will be made available as open data
Material in the legal databank Finlex, which is owned by the Finnish Ministry of Justice, will soon be available as open data. The project is a part of the Finnish Open Data Programme aiming at opening up of access to public sector information, launched in cooperation between the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and Aalto University. Edita Publishing Oy is responsible for the maintenance of the databank. The Ministry of Justice aims to open up Finlex open data service from the beginning of 2016.
Opening up access to data for innovative use of information
Knowledge is an asset that grows in value when it is shared and processed. The public sector has control of a considerable amount of information resources. Measures that facilitate the use of information resources can increase the value this intellectual capital, open up opportunities for new business activities, research and education, help develop better services for the citizens, as well as improve decision-making, step up the activities of the administration and make them more transparent.
Open public data refers to information produced or administered by a public organisation; it is in a machine-readable format and available free of charge to anyone; it can be edited and shared for both private and commercial purposes. Measures taken under the Finnish Open Data Programme in the years 2013–2015 have accelerated the opening of information resources.
According to the programme guidelines, the emphasis is shifting to the use of data and to strengthening of information literacy as a part of the digitalisation of administration.
Opening up access to information resources
Information resources have been opened up in Finland in diverse subject areas, including data and information related to terrain, weather, climate, maritime, traffic, financial and cultural materials. Public access to information resources has been outlined as a part of the preparations related to the government spending limits and current public finances. The Ministry of Finance has requested the ministries to provide their plans as to which information resources in their administrative branch should be opened and what would be the economic and social impacts. In addition, it is important that government agencies and public bodies continue to open also public information materials, which can be opened without additional financing. An increasing number of municipalities are also opening access to their materials.
One of the objectives of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Government Programme is to create favourable conditions for new business ideas through open data and better use of information resources. The Government also wants to strengthen knowledge-based decision-making and openness.
Shared services and practices
In the promotion of open data, Finland conducts active, networks-based cooperation with international actors. In addition, practices and structures are used to standardise and support systematic opening of information resources also at international level.
The open data activities support the objectives of the EU Public Sector Information Directive concerning the reuse of public sector information resources. In addition, we take part in the Share-PSI 2.0, which is the European network for developing open data best practices internationally. The Nordic countries are also starting cooperation in open data contexts.
International surveys have also shown that Finland has managed to open up access to information resources very well. Finland's ranking and situation are followed actively.
International portals and surveys
EU working groups and directives, networks
Ms Anne Kauhanen-Simanainen
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