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Opening Up Pharma Data
Apparently government agencies aren't the only ones being challenged to improve access to data.
A pair of public health advocacy organizations has filed a lawsuit against the FDA, claiming the agency failed to release clinical trial data for Gilead Sciences’ hepatitis C treatments on a timely basis.
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Ireland Publishes Government's Open Data Strategy
The two referenced documents in this press release describe a framework for the national government's open data publishing in Ireland. Also included are recommended standards for different data sets and a set of questions to ask when developing "data audits" of individual agency data resources. Not included, as far as I can tell, are any details concerning how the process will be managed or funded.
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State of the DATA Act
Dan Chenok provides a solid distillation of where the US government stand on implementing the DATA Act. Overseen by OMB and the US Department of the Treasury, the Act's various activities are summarized including efforts by industry groups that are involved in making the US Government's financial data more accessible and transparent. I'm working on a post of my own discussing the DATA Act's implementation though I am focusing more on how implementation is being managed. Interestingly I have received some pushback from sources inside and outside the government who are reluctant to discuss some implementation details.
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Jason Hibbets

civic technology  - 
 
Here's what happened at CityCamp NC last week.

Winners of CityCamp NC competition and event recap: http://ow.ly/OpaQs
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Contributing to the  THIRD UNITED STATES OPEN GOVERNMENT NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

I just added the following text to the "Open Data" portion of the collaborative "hackpad" document (https://hackpad.com/How-to-participate-in-development-of-the-U.S.-Open-Government-National-Action-Plan-3.0-lYDkyBe1aCZ): "I would like to see, when an open data program is announced, information about how the program is to be managed and financed. My hypothesis is that many open data programs that involve or require participation across departmental or organizational boundaries struggle to move forward due to a lack of attention paid to efficient project and program management processes."
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Jason Hibbets

citizen participation  - 
 
I talked with a few public sector workers about what motivates them to attend and participate in CityCampNC. Their stories range from building trust with citizens in the public sector, to getting the "outside" perspective from citizens that can help drive innovation in government. Beyond engagement, their motivations to attend the event include sharing ideas and informal learning opportunities.

http://opensource.com/government/15/6/citizen-engagement-different-unconference
CityCamp NC, now in its fifth year, brings an entrepreneurial spirit to citizen-problem solving. CityCamp NC is an annual, citizen-led unconference, aiming to solve civic challenges with open technology and community input. We aim to partner with our local, county, and state government agencies to tackle issues and discuss better ways to do things.
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Who Gets Credit for Open Data?
From the post: "The lack of easily accessible source and context information might eventually become a problem. Public programs ultimately have to depend on public funding. If the public doesn’t know the data they rely on are coming from public sources – which they pay for with their taxes — how can they be expected to make intelligent decisions about which programs to fund?"
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Ranking of US Cities on Open Data
The city tops a list of national jurisdictions that lead the nation when it comes to open data.
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Dennis D. McDonald originally shared to Managing Data:
 
Managing Open Transportation Data at the U.S. Department of Transportation
This is my commentary on an excellent symposium on transportation data organized in Washington DC by Data Innovation DC.
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Francis Sealey

collaboration  - 
 
This is a Video Report of a meeting held at The Westminster Hub between GlobalNet21 and the Open Government Partnership. Those there discussed the importance of open government and transparency and how citizens can be better engaged. We hope this will be the first of other events we do together.
 
https://youtu.be/0vEgsutDGUc
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Robert Richards

civic technology  - 
 
+Ursula Gorham-Oscilowski : The role of statewide legal information websites in expanding access to justice in the United States
http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/16511

#a2j   #accesstojustice   #legaltech   #freeaccesstolaw  
Title: "It's not just all about the technology": Understanding the role of statewide legal information websites in expanding access to justice in the United States. Authors: Gorham-Oscilowski, Ursula. Advisors: Jaeger, Paul T. Department/Program: Library & Information Services ...
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Dennis D. McDonald

open government  - 
 
 
Choking off the flow of data at the source
There are many ways to interpret this story but for me the most important takeaway is that you never want to be in a situation where a single organization can choke off data access for everyone else.
And it will punish you if you try to find out for yourself
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Jason Hibbets

civic technology  - 
 
3 models for civic hackers: green field, cloned, augmentation http://red.ht/1K1bgmW 

I would love to get some feedback on what you think about augmentation.
Code for Raleigh brigade captain describes three ways that volunteer civic hackers can help their city, county, or state municipalities, move code forward for their communities to make a positive impact for their community.
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Jason Hibbets

citizen participation  - 
 
The winner of the CityCamp NC competition was New Cartographers. 10-year old Gavin Clark is interested in NC history and loves the NC historical landmarks, when he can read them from the back seat of his parents car. Gavin created an app to locate and display historic landmarks and create walking paths to connect them.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/06/15/chapel-hill-fifth-grader-wins-raleigh-hackathon.html
Gavin Clark is a “coder,” a guy who hopes to save the world one day with a computer keyboard. Clark spent the bulk of his weekend with his shoulders hunched over one at the Wake County Commons Building.
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Data Act Implementation

An interesting overview of the factors that are making implementation of the DATA Act different from past efforts to improve financial transparency across the Federal government is provided in this linked article from Federal News Radio.

In connection with this I heard David Lebryk of the U.S. Department of Treasury speak on Data Act implementation this morning at the Johns Hopkins/REI Systems Government Analytics Breakfast Forum in Washington DC.

I'll be writing up my thoughts about the presentation soon. Meanwhile here are a few points I starred while taking notes during Lebryk's presentation:

1. One of the major challenges for implementing the DATA Act's standardization and spending transparency requirements is that no resources were appropriated. Implementation had to proceed with existing resources and management structures.

2. Use of USASpending.gov to provede access to spending data really focuses continued attention on standards across all reporting agencies not just Treasury itself.

3. Usage of USASpending.gov by government employees at Federal and State level has been significant partly because of the ease of using the system as opposed to more complex or siloed legacy systems. [Author's note: this is a common finding among developer's of "open data" systems for government data. Even when  public access is a prime motivator for system development it is not at all unusual for government employees to themselves be heavy users.]

4. Lebryk provided an interesting view of "data quality." There are different views of how much emphasis to place on data quality with some promoting rapid publication of all data warts and all while others caution the need for quality control. [Again this is not an unusual issue given the wide variety of financial systems -- Lebryk mentioned the number 48 -- that fall under the purview of the DATA Act. These systems were not originally designed to talk to each other so reporting spending data to a common standard is taking some time.]

5. Lebryk emphasized the importance of "process" in implementing the DATA Act and mentioned the role of the dedicated PMO, the use of tools such as GitHub to gather feedback on how data should be tagged for easy ingestion into the "data broker" tool which serves as an interface between appropriately tagged agency data and the standardized reporting that the DATA Act is pursuing.

6. Treasury has developed a "DATA Act Playbook" to guide implementation at the agency level; a one page description of the Playbook is here: https://goo.gl/KSXeOy . [Author's note: The ability to provide such centralized guidance and support is one of the things that differentiates DATA Act implementation from more decentralized efforts at standardization that have been attempted in the past.]

7. One question from the audience concerned the relationship between performance data (which often is program specific and not directly financial in nature) and spending data (which may have little if any connection to the impacts a program is supposed to have). [Author's note: while this question was not explored at any length, it is my impression that one of the main  benefits of having Treasury work together with OMB on DATA Act implementation is coordination of data and metadata requirements for tracking expenditures in connection with program performance. 

I'll be working on a more complete blog post based on the above points in the next few days; if you would like me to email you when the post is ready please let me know via Twitter (@ddmcd) or email (ddmcd@outlook.com). 

- Dennis McDonald (http://www.ddmcd.com)
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Sharon Fisher

Discussion  - 
 
Deleting data that prosecutors decide was relevant to a federal case can send you to jail. We’re not talking about terabytes of data. Sarbanes Oxley, which carries a sentence of 20 years, has been used against individuals for as little as clearing a browser history.
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Sharon Fisher

Discussion  - 
 
To some people, the fact that the email messages had been submitted on paper rather than electronically was proof of nefarious intent. Others, however, have pointed out that according to law, Clinton was required to turn in the messages on paper – an indication, perhaps, of the sort of antiquated thinking that led her to run a private email server in the first place – and the State Department itself confirmed that material for such reviews was typically turned in on paper.
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Robert Richards

citizen participation  - 
Hollie Russon-Gilman interviews Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America and the campaign manager for Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities. They discussed the opportunities and potential for this initiat...
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Alexander Howard
owner

Discussion  - 
 
A snapshot of networks around open government discussions on Twitter from Memorial Day: https://nodexlgraphgallery.org/Pages/Graph.aspx?graphID=46164 

One interesting takeaway:@stateguardian spamming the #opengov hashtag may have led to his Kickstarter campaign being the "top URL" in the snapshot but, to date, it's received $0 in funding. (Hypothesis: If Joshua Tauberer​ Derek Willis​ & Eric Mill​ give you constructive feedback on your  idea to reinvent their open government projects, it might be a good idea to listen.)
NodeXL Graph Gallery, a collection of network graphs created by NodeXL.
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Erik Jonker

Discussion  - 
 
 
Social media forces authorities to make principal choices
Great scientific research from the Netherlands. Also beautiful way to present the results. 
The emergence of social media has provided Dutch authorities with various new possibilities to get in touch with their citizens. However, it appears that authorities still make use of these opportunities on a very limited scale. Such is the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific research by the CTIT research centre of the University Twente by order the WODC. In part, there are compelling reasons for this limited use. Nonetheless, there are also...
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Thanks for the post. Reading the English language page now. Love that they treat "media" as plural!
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