Opening up and using public data
The aims set out in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Marin’s Government include adding depth to the management of information policy and making the openness of public information the overarching principle of information policy. The project on opening up and using public data, set up by the Ministry of Finance on 30 April 2020, will put into effect the aims given in the Government Programme by promoting wider and more effective use of public data throughout society. The term of the project is 30 April 2020 – 31 December 2022. The project will make use of the valuable work already undertaken on furthering the opening up and use of public data by a great many contributors, for example in the Open Data Programme 2013–2015.
What is the aim of the project on opening up and using public data?
The aim of the project is to draw up a proposal concerning the strategic objectives for opening up and using of public data that can be implemented by government entities, and to prepare and introduce measures to promote the opening up and use of public data. The strategic objectives will add detail to Finland’s national information policy (see vm.fi/tietopolitiikka and click English version).
They are needed to guide and direct the actions of the different participants in opening up and using public data, ensuring they are all working towards the jointly agreed national goals. The objectives will be drafted through collaboration between the bodies responsible for information policy, experts in the field and key stakeholders, in a transparent and inclusive way. The proposal concerning the strategic objectives for opening up and using public data will be submitted for implementation to the various government entities concerned.
What will the project produce?
The project will involve working with the other participants to draw up a proposal concerning the strategic objectives for opening up and using public sector data. These objectives will allow the Government Programme’s measures to be put in concrete terms as packages that can be implemented. The Government Programme states that the Government will add depth to the management of information policy and that the openness of public information will become the overarching principle of information policy.
The project will create an operational framework for government entities and publicly owned companies to make public sector data available more systematically either as open data or for wider use than at present, primarily via application programming interfaces (APIs). The project will help government entities and publicly owned companies to adopt the operational framework and will support implementation of the Open Data Directive in Finland as well as the opening up of high-value datasets as referred to in the Directive. Such datasets include for example spatial data and business ownership information.
A set of quality criteria for data opened up by government entities and publicly owned companies will be created and introduced in close cooperation with a sub-project of Statistics Finland. National API guidelines will also be prepared and implemented, and these will help the information owners in technical distribution matters and in improving interoperability. An interoperability platform and related tools will also be developed as part of the project, with the aim of enabling data to be opened up more extensively and more consistently, and promoting the semantic interoperability of the data.
Who are the participants in the project?
This is a collaborative project, and so the project group has a key role to play. At a practical level, key partners include Statistics Finland, which is in charge of the data quality sub-project, and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, which is responsible for the avoindata.fi service and the interoperability platform. The main responsibility for the project on opening up and using public data rests with the Ministry of Finance. The principal project participants are central government, local government, joint municipal authorities and publicly owned companies.
Extensive and open collaboration will be an essential part of the project’s implementation. The project group, consisting of representatives of the main stakeholders, will play a key role in preparing and implementing the measures.
Events and other activities
Launch seminar for the project on opening up and using public data (online event, in Finnish) 9th June 2020
The project opening up and using public data held an online seminar on the preparation of API guidelines on Monday the 21st of September. The open event gained a wide interest with over 500 participants. The event recording and a summary of a questionnaire collected during the event can be found on the project page.
More information about the events and other activities (in Finnish).