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ARCHIVED - Minister Clement Releases Open Government Action Plan

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For immediate release

April 12, 2012

Backgrounder - Open Government Action Plan
Backgrounder - Open Data Portal Expansion

Regina – The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor, unveiled Canada's Open Government Action Plan during a speech at the Regina Chamber of Commerce. Building on the achievements to date, the Action Plan advances the three streams of Open Government: Open Data, Open Information, and Open Dialogue.

"The Government of Canada is committed to advancing Open Government through the implementation of the Action Plan. This plan offers Canadians greater opportunities to learn about and participate in our democratic process, the economy, and government," said Minister Clement.

The 12 commitments in the Action Plan that will be implemented over the next three years include:

  • issuing a government-wide directive that will make government information and data available to the public by default unless it falls under specific criteria for exception;
  • expanding access to Open Data;
  • engaging Canadians through modern Web 2.0 tools; and
  • public engagement on regulatory reform.

The Action Plan was developed based on input received from Canadians and is available at www.open.gc.ca. The Minister will be presenting the Action Plan to the Open Government Partnership in Brasilia, Brazil, on April 17 and 18, 2012. The presentation of the Action Plan fulfills the remaining requirement for membership in the international Open Government Partnership.

The current Open Data Portal at www.data.gc.ca is also being expanded with the addition of approximately 150 new data sets. Three additional organizations, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of National Defence, will provide access to data sets through the Open Data Portal.

The Open Data Portal now has a total of over 272,000 data sets from 20 organizations, reaching the pilot's objective. As indicated in the Action Plan, the Government intends to build on the success and expand the Open Data Portal to improve access to government data.

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Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor
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Backgrounder - Open Government Action Plan

Canada's Action Plan will advance Open Government along our three streams of activity, Open Information, Open Data, and Open Dialogue over the next three years. Our Action Plan has been informed by consultations with citizens across the country, members of civil society, the private sector, key federal departments and agencies, and other levels of government—as reflected in our Open Government Consultation Report.

Foundational Commitments

Open Government Directive

The goal of the Directive is to make providing information the "default" approach in making government data and information available to Canadians.

Open Government License

The purpose of the new Open Government License will be to promote the reuse of federal information as widely as possible by removing restrictions on the reuse of published Government of Canada information, including data, info, websites, and publications.

Open Information

Modernizing the Administration of Access to Information

The Government will begin modernizing and centralizing the platforms that support the administration of access to information, including online requests and payment services. This will improve service quality and ease of access for citizens, and reduce processing costs for institutions.

Virtual Library

The virtual library will be created to simplify access to a range of government information that is available to the public by making it available through a single access point.

International Aid Transparency Initiative

This initiative will make information about Canadian aid spending easier to find, use, and compare. Those involved in aid programs will be able to better track what aid funding is being used for, and what it is achieving.

Opening Government of Canada Records

This commitment will increase access to archived federal documents held by Library and Archives Canada by removing restrictions on this information wherever possible, thereby making the preserved historical record of the Government of Canada more readily available to users. Additionally, a policy will be issued to drive consistent document classification practices across the federal government thereby reducing the volume of classified documents in the future.

Advancing Recordkeeping in the Government of Canada – GCDocs

The Government will create an advanced government-wide record-keeping regime for use by government departments and agencies.

User-Centric Web Services – GCWeb

The Government is committed to developing a user-centric, consolidated Web presence for the Government of Canada within the first year of our Action Plan. This will include a one-stop federated search window that will allow simultaneous searching of all federal Web pages, data and publications.

Open Data

Data.gc.ca

Building on the successful open data pilot launched in 2011, the Government will implement the next generation platform for the delivery of Open Data. The Government will make use of crowdsourcing, particularly among Canada's open data community, to make sure that the new portal meets the needs and expectations of those who will use it most, and provides the best possible opportunity to support entrepreneurs eager to make use of Government of Canada data.

Government of Canada Resource Management Data

The Government will use information collected from federal organizations to publish resource management and performance data through the Open Data portal. This will include enhanced search and data visualization tools.

Open Dialogue

Consulting Canadians

The Government will explore options for the development of a renewed Web 2.0 citizen engagement platform that federal organizations can use to conduct public consultations. As well, a standard approach to the use of social media and Web 2.0 by federal departments will be developed to facilitate engagement activities with citizens and businesses.

Open Regulation

Federal regulators will be required to electronically post their regulatory plans, making the regulatory system more predictable and giving Canadians and businesses information earlier about upcoming changes and opportunities to engage on regulatory plans.


Backgrounder - Open Data Portal Expansion

On April 11, 2012, the Government of Canada expanded the Open Data Portal pilot to include over 150 new data sets from six government institutions.

Open Data is about offering government data in more useful and machine- readable formats to enable citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations to leverage it in innovative and value-added ways.

The new data sets available through this portal include:

Canada Revenue Agency

  • GST/HST Incremental Federal Rebate for Municipalities, corporation income tax statistics and T1 final statistics

Canadian Space Agency

  • Canadian Array for Real-time Investigations of Magnetic Activity Data (CARISMA).

Department of National Defence

  • Data related to Canadian Forces operations since 1945 and a national inventory of Canadian military memorials

Health Canada

  • Information related to drug products marketed in Canada (Drug Product Database) and patented medicines (Patent Register Database)

Statistics Canada

  • Geography and boundary information used for reporting census data.

Environment Canada

  • National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) data, and additional air and water quality data

The Open Data Portal is available at www.data.gc.ca. It now has a total of over 272,000 data sets from 20 organizations, reaching the objective of the pilot. As indicated in the Action Plan, the Government intends to build on this success and to expand the Open Data Portal to improve access to government data.

The Open Data Portal is part of the Government of Canada's efforts to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.