Marking the first in a series of deadlines outlined in the Open Government Directive (OGD), Friday saw the eleventh-hour (well, 6:50 PM to be precise) release of over 100 data sets from executive branch agencies on data.gov.
Among the data sets are lists of Federal Advisory Committee rosters going back to 1997, Freedom Of Information Act requests made to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and summaries of Department of Energy R&D projects. The list of data sets is available here.
The OGD required agencies to release three new high value data sets on the 22nd, and in the anticipation leading up to Friday, one question loomed: what exactly is a "high value" data set anyways? Fortunately data.gov allows visitors to rate each set. Readers, what do you think? Do these sets of data have high value?
We're still sifting through the data, but are hoping that the spirit behind the movement towards transparency — that a government that is open, accountable, and communicative will ultimately be more effective — doesn't get lost amid the zeal for technology. The White House and its agencies deserve credit for taking this step in the right direction, but let's not forget that it will take more than Twitter accounts and dashboards to establish a culture of openness.
The OGD also required agencies to designate by the 22nd one senior official to be accountable for the quality of federal spending data, but no sign of a master list of those officials so far. The next deadline in the OGD is February 6. Read the Open Government Directive here.
-- Bryan Rahija