Onward from the Finnish Open Data Programme
The Finnish legal databank Finlex will be made available as open data
Some of the material in the legal databank Finlex, owned by the Finnish Ministry of Justice, will soon be available as open data. This will be realised in cooperation between the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and Aalto University as a part of the national project to provide access to public information resources. Also Edita Publishing Oy, responsible for the maintenance of the databank, is involved in the project. The goal is to make the material available as open data at the beginning of 2016.
Ministry of Justice’s Press release (in Finnish)
The final report of the Finnish Open Data Programme 17.9.2015
From open data to the innovative utilisation of information: The final report of the Finnish Open Data Programme 2013–2015 was published on 17th September 2015.
This publication proposes further pathways for moving from the opening of data resources to data utilisation and data competence enhancement. All open data policies should be part of a more comprehensive data policy, the principles of digitalisation, and the data infrastructure.
The final report of the Finnish Open Data Programme (in Finnish)
From the opening of data to the innovative utilisation of data
The Finnish Open Data Programme 2013–2015, set up by the Ministry of Finance, will finish at the end of June, and promoting open data will become a regular part of administrative activity. In the opening of public information resources, the emphasis will shift to utilising data and strengthening information skills as part of the digitalisation of administration.
Opening of information resources has begun and is proceeding
The objective of the Finnish Open Data Programme has been to accelerate the opening of information resources free of charge, in machine-readable format and with transparent conditions of use to businesses, citizens and society as a whole by the end of the decade. The goal is to create conditions for new business activity and innovations, strengthen democracy and civil society, enhance administration, and diversify the information resources available to education and research.
In Finland, information resources have been opened diversely, from terrain data to weather, climate, sea, transport, financial, statistical and cultural data. The opening of information resources has been prepared as part of the planning of the central government spending limits and nowadays as part of the general government fiscal plan. Every year, the Ministry of Finance has requested from the ministries plans outlining which information resources will be opened in the administrative branches and what the economic and social impacts will be. A growing number of municipalities are also opening their data. To support the opening of central government and local government data, the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities are cooperating on the preparation of a manual, the first parts of which will be published in late autumn 2015.
Standard practices and structures
The programme has created practices and structures standardising and supporting the systematic opening of information resources. The Open Data Programme has also implemented the objectives of the EU’s PSI (Public Sector Information) Directive on the re-use of public information resources.
Opendata.fi, an open data and interoperability service, was launched at the Open Finland 2014 event on 15 September 2014. The service aims to provide information about opened data resources as well as interoperability descriptions and guidelines for centralised use. Currently, the service offers information on more than 1,400 opened resources. The service is the responsibility of the Government ICT Centre Valtori. Service applications utilising open data have been piloted in a development environment for public sector digital services, JulkICT Lab.
Opendata.fi supports Public Administration Recommendation (JHS) 189 on licences for the use of open data. It is recommended that the standard open and internationally interoperable licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) be adopted in the re-use of the public sector’s open information resources. A number of public authorities have adopted the recommended licence.
During the Open Data Programme, active networked cooperation has taken place in Finland and abroad, and new operating practices have been introduced with public sector actors, companies and organisations. There has been cooperation, for example, with the Open Government project, the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Open Science and Research programme and the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ Growth, Innovations, Digital Services and Evolution (Kide) programme. Examples of international cooperation are participation in the EU’s SharePSI project, which seeks to develop international best practices in open data, and the Nordic Open Data Week 29 May – 7 June 2015. The Open Data Programme has also participated as an organising partner in Apps4Finland competitions.
From opening of data to utilisation of data and innovative operating practices
The programme of the Finnish Government formed in May 2015 includes the objective of creating favourable conditions for new business ideas with the aid of open data and better utilisation of information resources. The Government Programme also seeks to strengthen knowledge-based decision-making and openness.
A good start has been made in Finland to the opening of information resources, also by international comparisons, but much work remains to be done and the opening of information resources is not yet part of the everyday activity of all central government agencies and municipalities. Open data must become an integral part of the public sector’s performance management, innovative administration culture and new operating practices. A monitoring and assessment model for the effectiveness of open data will be developed, based on the proposals of the preliminary study prepared in the Open Data Programme.
Ms Anne Kauhanen-Simanainen
tel. +358 2955 30043