The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D., has established the Open Data Governance Board to provide strategic leadership and help drive implementation of the Open Data Initiative. Details of the Membership are available here. The Mandate of the ODGB is available here.

Public Consultation on Open Data 

On 15 June 2015, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., launched a public consultation on two key documents under his Open Data Initiative:-

  • Technical Framework to underpin the publication of datasets in open data format on the Government’s open data portal data.gov.ie

The next phase of the Open Data Initiative will involve significant engagement with citizens, business, researchers, and public bodies and is a core element of Ireland’s approach to Open Data. The public consultation will guide and inform the development of the Open Data Strategy and the finalisation of the Technical Framework. Observations on the consultation documents should be submitted to opendata@per.gov.ie by 15 July 2015. Open Data Event on 30 June 2015 

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently developing Ireland’s Open Data Strategy. To deliver this, the Department is committed to collaborating and engaging with all interested stakeholders – citizens, businesses, researchers and public bodies. An event will take place from 5-8pm on Tuesday 30 June 2015 in the Atrium, Department of Justice and Equality, 51 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.  The programme for the event is available here. To register for this event, please visit this link.

Open Data and the Open Government Partnership

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin, TD, is currently leading on the implementation of actions contained in Ireland’s first Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan. Ireland became a full member of this global multilateral Partnership in July 2014 when our first National Action Plan, co-created by officials and representatives of civil society organisations and citizens, was submitted to the OGP Support Unit and OGP Steering Committee members. The Plan spans concrete actions across three key open government areas: Open Data, Citizen Participation and Strengthening of Governance and Accountability. Open data therefore forms a core element of Ireland’s first OGP National Action Plan 2014-2016. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform also attended the OGP London Summit on 31 October and 1 November 2013 and announced a suite of measures designed to provide major impetus to OGP objectives and open data in Ireland including signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter, establishing an Open Data Board and building an online Open Data Platform. On 22 July 2014, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform launched Ireland’s national Open Data Portal and research reports (see below) developed by Insight Centre for Data Analytics. Insight Centre for Data Analytics was, following a competitive tender process, commissioned to carry out this work to develop the basic building blocks for progressing open data in Ireland. Links to the research reports are provided at the bottom of this page.

The Portal

The national Portal (data.gov.ie) currently contains links to over 420 datasets compiled by over 45 public bodies.  It is an alpha site, but an important first step. The next steps to further develop the portal will be considered in tandem with experts in the public sector and the wider public. Going forward, the Minister would encourage public bodies to publish links to datasets on the Portal.

Consultations with the public and recent news

A well-attended public meeting on open data took place from 6pm-9pm on Monday 8 September 2014. Insight Centre for Data Analytics presented its research work which was followed by an informative and constructive discussion. You can view the presentation here. The Department also invited observations and ideas on how open data can be utilised, which datasets would be of value to citizens and have a high economic and social impact, and how best to progress the initiative. You can view the submissions received, below. In October 2014, the Department issued a Request for Tender on the eTenders website for the Provision of Expert Support for the Delivery of Ireland’s Open Data Initiative. This contract was awarded to a consortium comprising Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Derilinx and Fujitsu at the beginning of November 2014. This expert support will augment the current capacity and capability of the Department to provide specific expertise and technical advice and support in this area and to contribute to the development of a draft plan for Open Data. Key elements of the work to be progressed over the next 6 months include:

  • development of an open data plan;
  • further development of the Portal;
  • outreach/dissemination/consultation with the general public, civil society, business and other interests as appropriate, and
  • establishing appropriate governance structures

As part of this work, the Department will further engage with the open data community in identifying specific objectives for progressing open data in Ireland, including best practice examples of open data and how to raise awareness of this important initiative among the general public. In this context, the Department looks forward to the views and perspectives of those interested in our work. The Department also recently established an informal Public Bodies Working Group on Open Data, comprising officials from a number of public bodies with expertise in relation to data, including the CSO, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Marine Institute. This group will meet on a monthly basis to help drive the Open Data initiative forward through: –

  • supporting and advising the Department on key issues and agreeing a way forward on the infrastructural/enabling issues;
  • considering capacity building and supporting public bodies in this regard;
  • providing advice, guidance and ideas on actions for the open data initiative over the next 3 years (using the Roadmap developed by Insight Centre for Data Analytics as a basis);
  • identifying open data projects and other initiatives to promote usage

Submissions received

Dr Kalpana Shankar UCD

Local Government GIS User Group

Dublinked

Institute of Public Health

Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault

Programmable City Project NUI Maynooth

Dr John O’Flaherty MAC Ltd

Heather L Wiencko

Fingal County Council

Insight Centre for Data Analytics – research Following a competitive tender process at the beginning of 2014, Insight Centre for Data Analytics was awarded a short-term contract to carry out research on behalf of the Department.  The Centre’s research comprises a Best Practice Handbook, a Data Audit Report, a Roadmap for Open Data, an Evaluation Framework and an Open Data Publication Handbook which will provide guidance to public bodies on the publication of data in open format in line with international standards.

  • Best Practice Handbook –the core document that draws together existing best practice standards for the publication and re-use of Open Data to assist in establishing best practice standards in Ireland.
  • Data Audit Report – reports on an audit of the Irish public sector datasets available online and aligns the findings with the ‘common high-value datasets’ based on the G8 Open Data Charter categories.
  • Roadmap – sets out a detailed 3 year plan for the objectives, structure and actions necessary to advance publication of national and regional Open Data for maximum impact.
  • Evaluation Framework – to assess the current state of readiness for Open Data in Ireland; to monitor and assess the ongoing progress of the initiative, and to measure the actual economic, social and political impact of the initiative.

Insight’s work was published to assist the development of an Open Data strategy for Ireland.