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Opening Key Public Datasets (DK0049)



Action Plan: Denmark Action Plan 2013-2014

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Agency for Digitisation (Ministry of Finance)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Fiscal Transparency, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Denmark End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Government data can be used as raw material in the development of innovative digital services in the private sector, and access to public data can create more transparency in government decision-making and administration. However, a number of key public datasets are only partially open and accessible to civil society

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 16. Opening key public datasets

Commitment Text:

Government data can be used as raw material in the development of innovative digital services in the private sector, and access to public data can create more transparency in government decision making and administration. However, a number of key public datasets are only partially open and accessible to civil society.


-        Data on public spending ('government spending') completely opened. January 2015 June 2015

-        Other key public datasets completely opened. June 2015 June 2016

-        Updating the standard license for open government data. January 2015 June 2015

-        Guidance and tools to support the opening of data, including information on the revised PSI law for public authorities. January 2015 January 2016

-        Guidance on the scope for reusing public data, including information on the revised PSI law, civil society and other private actors. January 2015 January 2016

(Commitment published 7 January 2015 at and Strategy/Open Government/Opening key public datasets)

Responsible institution: Agency for Digitisation (Ministry of Finance)

Supporting institution(s): None specified

Start date:  1 January 2015             End date: 30 June 2016

Commitment Aim:

Government-held data in Denmark is currently not available for public use unless provided on the data distributor (see Commitment #13) or on other platforms like Danish Statistics or the databank mentioned in Commitment #13. The available data varies in quality and format, which makes it hard to know the general characteristics of the data itself. This commitment aims to (1) open data on government spending, (2) update the standard license for open government data and (3) to publish easy to understand guidelines for opening of data.


Mid-term: Limited

At the time of writing of the IRM progress report, the AFD had organized a workshop to discuss the topic of open data in public administration, but had not achieved the set milestones - implementation was thus coded as limited. For further information, please see the mid-term IRM progress report.[Note 60: Denmark IRM mid-term report 2014-15,]

End of term: Limited

The IRM researcher’s interviews with government representatives did not yield information to suggest that any progress happened during the last year of commitment implementation. Some of the milestones also lack specificity to determine the extent of their progress, stating for instance only “other key public datasets will be completely opened.” The IRM researcher was not able to determine what the “other” or “key” datasets were, to assess whether this milestone was completed. Government spending data that was meant to be “completely open” is only available via a freedom of information request and not in open data format.

The IRM researcher found a version of a standard license[Note 61: Most recent version of the standard license can be found here] comparable to the old standard license[Note 62: Standard license can be found here] that was updated in September 2016 - after closing of the implementation period assessed in this report. There is no publicly available record of guidance and tools for supporting open data, or enough clarity in the commitment’s language to identify specifically what those tools were meant to be. Given that no further progress was made beyond that already reported in the mid-term assessment, this commitment remains limited in completion.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

On the Global Open Data Index, Denmark has a score of 70% for openness.[Note 63: Denmarks’ page on Global Open Data Index, Open Knowledge Foundation,] Work remains on effectively opening datasets, determining the quality and readability of the data released, and articulating criteria to identify key public data. Echoing the first action plan’s IRM report and the review of this action plan’s Commitments #12 and #13, the opening of more datasets and a cultural change in perception of bureaucrats concerning the importance of transparency is very important in this context.

The effect of this commitment on opening government was coded as “did not change” because it was not possible to verify the implementation levels for this commitment and because a freedom of information request was necessary to obtain government spending data.

Carried forward?

If this commitment is taken forward into future action plans, the IRM researcher recommends adding new activities to broaden its scope and scale:

•The mid-term self-assessment mentions the aspiration of this commitment to create a “manual” for citizens that describes different ways in which citizens can access and reuse public data.

•       The government could develop a mechanism that ensures the systematic publication of data year by year;.

•       The government could organize capacity building activities to teach citizens how to access and use data, for example via “hackathons.” A template or format for this might be the annual workshop on Denmark’s public finances of 2016, arranged by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Danish newspaper Information[Note 64: Data workshop on public finances 2016, Open Knowledge Foundation on Facebook,].;

•       The government could allocate proper funding to implement open data initiatives.


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