US President Barack Obama today published an executive order setting out an open data policy for United States government agencies to ensure that information is easy to find and to use.
From now on, open and machine readable formats for data will be the new default for US government information, president Obama said.
Government director of the office of management and budget, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, is to work with US CIO Steve VanRoekel and CTO Todd Park, together with the office of information and regulatory affairs, to develop the open data policy.
As part of the collaborative Project Open Data initiative, the US government has released the draft policy as well as tools to generate application programming interfaces to the Github code repository site.
Once the open data policy has been issued, the US government expects agencies to have implemented it within three to six months time.
Obama cited the success of making weather data and access to the global positioning system (GPS) freely available, which decades ago led to innovators developing weather applications and navigation systems. He said openness in government contributed to economic growth and strengthened democracy.
"To promote continued job growth, government efficiency, and the social good that can be gained from opening Government data to the public, the default state of new and modernised Government information resources shall be open and machine readable," president Obama said.
The United States government publishes data resources in machine readable format from several agencies on the web, free for the public to access and use.