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Czech Republic

Open Data Legal Framework (CZ0015)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Czech Republic, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Interior

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Czech Republic End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Czech Republic IRM Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

“Creation of rules for publishing information on data sets of open data is currently envisaged on the one hand within the catalogue of open data so that the subjects, publishing information in the form of open data, have at disposal an instructive methodology, and on the other hand a creation of legal environment for open licensing of using open data, which will in particular consist in involvement into the Act on Free Access to Information and preparing sample license agreements. This constitutes preparation of a solution that will ensure data openess, but at the same time must be convenient (nondiscrimination, non-favouring, investment protection, etc.) for all groups concerned (creators, commercial users, non-commercial users, etc.) and refrain from any conflict with the Czech law (Act on Free Access to Information and Copyright Act), nor with EU regulations (Directive 2013, Directive INSPIRE etc.).”

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 9. Open data legal framework

Commitment Text:

Creating a legal milieu for open licensing of using open data

Creation of rules for publishing information on data sets of open data is currently envisaged on the one hand within the catalogue of open data so that the subjects, publishing information in the form of open data, have at disposal an instructive methodology, and on the other hand a creation of legal environment for open licensing of using open data, which will in particular consist in involvement into the Act on Free Access to Information and preparing sample license agreements. This constitutes preparation of a solution that will ensure data openess, but at the same time must be convenient (non-discrimination, non-favouring, investment protection, etc.) for all groups concerned (creators, commercial users, non-commercial users, etc.) and refrain from any conflict with the Czech law (Act on Free Access to Information and Copyright Act), nor with EU regulations (Directive 2013, Directive INSPIRE etc.).

Responsible Institution: The Ministry of Interior

Supporting Institution(s): None

Start Date: Not Specified                                                            End Date: 30 September 2015

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aims to provide public administrators with a clear legal framework guiding data publication. This is to ensure government data (both national and local) is published in open formats and disclosed through legal regulations. Government representatives repeatedly cited the lack of law covering the release of public information as a reason they have hesitated to open their data in the past.

Status

Midterm: Limited

Legislative bodies had already approved the amendment to Act no. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Information; it entered into force in September 2015 (see Commitment 6).

The Ministry of Interior was developing the amendment to Act no. 365/2000 Coll. on Information Systems of the Public Administration and should have incorporated the amendment into the Government Plan of Legislative Works for 2016. Legislative changes were expected to be approved in 2016 as well.[Note 44: Office of the Government, Self-Assessment Report of the Action Plan of the Czech Republic 2014-2016,  [English] https://www.korupce.cz/assets/partnerstvi-pro-otevrene-vladnuti/Mid-Term-Self-Assessment-OGP-Report-2014-2016.pdf.] IRM researchers concluded that the completion of the commitment was limited. Because the amendment to Act no. 365/2000 Coll. had not been adopted yet, the government has only adopted some prerequisites of the legal requirements for publishing public administration data in open format.

End of term: Substantial

The government decided to incorporate the legal background of the National Catalogue of Open Data into second amendment of Act no. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Information; they did this instead of amending the Act no. 365/2000 Coll. on Information Systems of the Public Administration which had been prepared previously. As a consequence of this change, the government’s legislative strategy has become confusing for civil society observers; it was not clear if the proposed changes concerned the right to information or conditions for publishing information in open data formats. In addition, the change has slowed the process of enacting the legislation.  

The amedment contains:

  • A definition of “open data;”
  • The legal establishment of the National Catalogue of Open Data as a public administration information system and central resource of open data in the Czech Republic;
  • The enactment of new obligations for responsible public authorities to provide certain information as open data; and
  • The authorization for the Government to issue implementing decrees to formulate concrete data sets that should to be published in the catalogue.[Note 45: Government of The Czech Republic: Parliamentary Print 764/0, part no. 1/6 [Czech], http://www.psp.cz/sqw/text/tiskt.sqw?O=7&CT=764&CT1=0,]

Compared to the previous draft, the second amendment of Act no. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Information provides a broader and more flexible definition of open data. Data is expected to be remotely accessible, open and machine readable, published in the national open data catalogue and released without limitations on usage. All these characteristics must be fullfilled to designate the data as “open.” 

Implementing the governmental draft decree establishes the list of information (data sets) the government is obligated to publish as open data.[Note 46: Government of the Czech Republic: Governmental Proposal of Decree Establishing a List of Obligatorily Published Information as Open Data [Czech]: https://apps.odok.cz/veklep-detail?p_p_id=material_WAR_odokkpl&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=3&_material_WAR_odokkpl_pid=KORNAD3DQ8HI&tab=detail.]

On September 2016, the amendment was signed by the president and published in the Collection of Laws.[Note 47: Government of the Czech Republic: Act no. 298/2016 Coll. [Czech]: https://www.psp.cz/sqw/sbirka.sqw?cz=298&r=2016.] This was completed three months after the conclusion of the second action plan implementation period. The amendment will come into effect on 1 January 2017 and the obligation to publish the data must be fulfilled by 2018.[Note 48: Government of The Czech Republic: Parliamentary Print 764/0, part no. 1/6 [Czech], http://www.psp.cz/sqw/text/tiskt.sqw?O=7&CT=764&CT1=0.] The draft decree has concluded the comment procedure (within the ministries, regions, and other designated institutions) and it has not been adopted yet.[Note 49: Government of the Czech Republic: Governmental Proposal of Decree Establishing a List of Obligatorily Published Information as Open Data [Czech]: https://apps.odok.cz/veklep-detail?p_p_id=material_WAR_odokkpl&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=3&_material_WAR_odokkpl_pid=KORNAD3DQ8HI&tab=detail.] The decree will apply only to data collected by central authorities and does not require local authorities to publish data sets.[Note 50: Michal Tošovský (Otakar Motejl Fund), interview by IRM researchers, August 2016. 9 Ibid.]

In the IRM researchers opinion, the amendment of Act no. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Informations should play a major role in completing the legal implementation of public administration open data.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

The commitment aimed to legally regulate the government to publish open data. It was intended to require public authorities to open their data for public access, and thus strengthen transparency, improve administrative efficiency, and simplify citizens' participation in decision making.

The most significant change of the first amendment to the Act no. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Information was requiring government-held information to be published and publicly available. The amendment stipulates that this information should be published in an open format and (if possible) machine-readable. In the context of the whole issue of open data, IRM researchers consider the impact of this amendment as only a small step toward a complex solution.

The second amendment to the Act (coming into effect in January 2017), provides a legislative definition of “open data,” establishes a national data catalogue and designates the Ministry of Interior as administrator of the catalogue. The second amendment also includes a decree defining which datasets must be published. Together, these amendments create the necessary legal background for effectively opening data and increasing user-friendly access to information for commercial and non-commercial use.

There are some remaining open data challenges the new legislation does not specifically address. Michal Tošovský, an open data expert of Otakar Motejl Fund, mentions that the legal obligation to publish information in an open data format will apply only to central authorities. As mandated, it will not apply to data collected by local authorities. In addition, the amendment does not impose any accountability mechanisms in cases where public authorities do not comply with data publishing standards.[Note 51: ] As a result, it is not clear if the new legislation, as adopted, would be enforceable.

The changes in the legal regulation of open data publishing have only an indirect effect on increasing public access to information. Based on these issues described above, IRM researchers code the overall effect of this commitment on improving access to information as marginal.

Carried forward?

The action plan for 2016 – 2018 deals with the issue of open data legislation in a more comprehensive way and develops the commitments from the previous action plans. Among other things, it aims at publishing priority data sets in open data format and contains a list of priority data sets in its Appendix.

IRM researchers recommend that the system of open data publishing be accompanied by a specific control mechanism to verify public administrative bodies open their data according to legal requirements. The newly appointed National Coordinator of Open Data could have a role in this control mechanism. 


Commitments

  1. Quality Management in Service Authorities

    CZ0022, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  2. Judiciary Annual Report

    CZ0023, 2018, E-Government

  3. Publishing Lower Court Decision

    CZ0024, 2018, E-Government

  4. Raising Awareness About Whistle-Blowers

    CZ0025, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Open Education Data

    CZ0026, 2018, E-Government

  6. InspIS Information System

    CZ0027, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Data from School Inspector

    CZ0028, 2018, E-Government

  8. Publication of Education Information on Creative Commons

    CZ0029, 2018, E-Government

  9. Implementing the Civil Service Act

    CZ0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  10. Priority Data Sets of Public Administration

    CZ0017, 2016, E-Government

  11. Public Administration of the Czech Republic’s Open Data Ecosystem

    CZ0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. National Open Access to Scientific Information Strategy

    CZ0019, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  13. Supporting Volunteering

    CZ0020, 2016, Civic Space

  14. Improving Local Level Safety

    CZ0021, 2016, E-Government

  15. Adoption of the New Act on Civil Service

    CZ0007, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  16. Implementing Legislation for the New Act on Civil Service

    CZ0008, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  17. Institutional Measures to Implement the New Act on Civil Service

    CZ0009, 2014, Capacity Building

  18. Selection, Recruitment, and Appointment of Civil Servants/High-Ranking Civil Servants

    CZ0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  19. Systematization of Service Positions and Service Authorities

    CZ0011, 2014, Labor

  20. Streamline the Free Access to Information System

    CZ0012, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  21. Support for Open Data Publishing

    CZ0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  22. Open Data Catalogue

    CZ0014, 2014, E-Government

  23. Open Data Legal Framework

    CZ0015, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  24. Adoption of an Act on Civil Servants

    CZ0001, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  25. Amendments of the Free Access to Information Act

    CZ0002, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Identification and Removal of Legal and Technical Obstacles

    CZ0003, 2012, Open Data

  27. Creation of an Open Data Infrastructure in the Public Procurement Sector

    CZ0004, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  28. Converting the Most Important Data Sources to Open Data Standards

    CZ0005, 2012, Open Data

  29. Creation of a Catalogue of Public Administration Data

    CZ0006, 2012, Open Data