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Traversing Digital BabelInformation, E-Government, and Exchange$
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Alon Peled

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027878

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027878.001.0001

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Why Open Data Finds Agencies’ Doors Closed

Why Open Data Finds Agencies’ Doors Closed

(p.57) 3 Why Open Data Finds Agencies’ Doors Closed
Traversing Digital Babel

Alon Peled

The MIT Press

The chapter defines open data and describes the inception, evolution and vision of open data programs in the US and worldwide. The chapter then presents a thorough empirical analysis of the US open data program’s performance. It is found that whilst US agencies appeared to support the program, a closer look reveals that their participation was underwhelming: most data was supplied by a tiny number of agencies; data was not updated; data was of low quality or already available elsewhere. The chapter then examines the participation of government agencies in open data programs outside the US, finding a similar pattern of resistance to provide free access to high-quality data. The chapter concludes by suggesting that agencies did not fully cooperate with the open data program because information is a precious asset that they work hard to accumulate and are reluctant to release without compensation.

Keywords:   open government data (OGD), government agencies, public sector, information sharing, open government, e-government, USA, UK, EU, Barack Obama

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