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Denmark

Open National Archives Data (DK0064)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Denmark Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: The Danish National Archives

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Denmark Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the social problem that the commitment will address?
The Danish National Archives serve the entire Danish public sector; the state as a whole and, to a large degree, the Danish regions and municipalities. The Danish National Archives therefore considers itself an important contributor towards establishing transparency in the pub-lic sector, as the archives collect, store and disseminate data about and insight into the history, structure and workings of the Danish pub-lic sector. The Danish National Archives are in possession of printed and digital data that provides insight into all matters pertaining to Danish society: social, economic, political or environmental This data is available for use by both private individuals and professional users. This means that users have data at their disposal that will help them to contextual-ise and/or come up with creative ideas towards innovation.

The Danish National Archives work constantly towards making it eas-ier for users to access and use data. Examples of this include the de-velopment of search services and the conversion of data to familiar data formats, enabling the use of this data for clarification, develop-ment and innovation. Granting the public sector access to paper-based data is a well-established practice within the Danish National Archives. This initiative therefore concerns the provision of improved service to those using the public sector’s digital data.

What does the commitment entail?
The commitment entails three activities:
1) Better presentation of metadata Information (metadata) about data (copies of the authorities’ IT sys-tems) that are submitted to the Danish National Archives will be made available to users as soon as the data is received, allowing it to be referenced.
2) Improved overview of data: An overview of all state IT systems submitted to the Danish National Archives will be made available, allowing users to view the entire state system portfolio. At the present time, the Danish National Archives are only able to provide information about all public IT systems that are submitted for archival purposes. In future, the Danish National Ar-chives will be able to provide information about all IT systems, be they reported, archived or obsolete.
3) Ability to provide data in a free, easy manner Data that is immediately available in accordance with the Danish Ar-chives Act must be able to be freely provided in a user-friendly format. Ideally, data must be able to be downloaded.

How will the commitment contrib-ute towards solving the social problem?
Data originating from the public sector holds a great yet unexploited potential. This commitment aims to contribute towards making better use of this data. The commitment contributes towards openness and transparency in the public sector by making data and overviews avail-able to users in both private and professional capacities. The commitment offers private and professional users: insights into the operations of the public sector, analysis of problematic issues us-ing data that originates from the public sector, access to data that has the potential to enable the development of new services.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
The commitment helps to make information more freely available, im-proves the quality of the information that is available and increases the public’s ability to access this information. The commitment therefore creates improved potential for citizen involvement and contributes to-wards public responsibility in the form of increased and open access to data. The commitment provides insight into the core of the IT-systems of the public sector, thereby allowing citizens and other stakeholders im-proved insight and ability to understand and access the public admin-istration. By promoting openness and transparency about the history, structure and workings of the public sector, this commitment also aims to increase trust in how the public sector is organised.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. The Danish National Archives provides open data to private individuals and professionals

Main Objective

"The commitment entails three activities:

  • Better presentation of metadata Information (metadata) about data (copies of the authorities' IT systems) that are submitted to the Danish National Archives will be made available to users as soon as the data is received, allowing it to be referenced.
  • Improved overview of data: An overview of all state IT systems submitted to the Danish National Archives will be made available, allowing users to view the entire state system portfolio. At the present time, the Danish National Archives are only able to provide information about all public IT systems that are submitted for archival purposes. In future, the Danish National Archives will be able to provide information about all IT systems, be they reported, archived or obsolete.
  • Ability to provide data in a free, easy manner Data that is immediately available in accordance with the Danish Archives Act must be able to be freely provided in a user-friendly format. Ideally, data must be able to be downloaded." [1]

Milestones

  • Improved presentation of metadata: preparation of project, incl. analysis, implementation and marketing
  • Improved overview of data: the ongoing overview is provided via sa.dk.
  • Free and easy availability of data: choosing data that is particularly relevant to OGP values, preparation and development of download functionality

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Denmark's action plan at https://digst.dk/media/21659/ogp-nap-2019-2021-english.pdf, pp. 11-12).

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Access to Information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment analysis

This commitment aims to improve access to historical data held by Danish authorities. Specifically, it plans to improve the presentation and overview of historical data via the webpage of the Danish National Archives through an open and machine-readable format. It builds on Commitment 1 from Denmark's previous action plan (2017-2019), which changed due to requirements stipulated by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). [2] In response to these challenges, the Danish National Archives decided to opt for a more secure approach with the present commitment that does not include publishing datasets with information at the personal level. The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information, as it seeks to make historical data from public institutions available on an ongoing basis.

Danish state institutions are required by law to store and eventually forward to the Danish National Archives records with significance for research and public transparency. Hence, the Danish National Archives accumulates historical data on an ongoing basis touching on most aspects of the public domain. However, finding and retrieving publicly stored data on the Danish National Archives database is not entirely user-friendly. [3] With this commitment, the Danish National Archives aims to ensure that this information is presented to citizens in a more user-friendly and easily accessible manner. The commitment does not specify how the presentation of data on the Danish National Archives webpage will be improved. Nor does it specify what new data will be made available, only that the data will be "particularly relevant to OGP values". However, according to a representative of the Danish National Archives, they expect the data released to fall mostly within natural science, such as climate and environment, through subpages that explain its content and scope. [4]

If implemented, this commitment could lead to a more simplified and accessible overview of historical data from various public authorities. This could capture the interest of a broader segment of users who will be able to access data within different themes without requesting it first. In addition, data may be used to engender new projects or services by enterprises. However, these changes will depend on the extent to which the Danish National Archives raises awareness of the datasets and provides examples of their potential use. As the IRM researcher cannot establish a tangible baseline of currently available data, and due to the lack of details on the planned improvements to the Danish National Archives webpage, it is difficult to assess the potential impact of this commitment as higher than minor. Successful implementation will likely depend on the quality of presented data on the Danish National Archives webpage.

[1] Danish Agency for Digitisation, "The Danish OGP National Action Plan 2019–2021," https://digst.dk/media/21659/ogp-nap-2019-2021-english.pdf
[3] "Stadsarkivar: Forslag til ny arkivlov forskelsbehandler borgere og kommuner", [in Danish] https://www.altinget.dk/kultur/artikel/stadsarkivar-forslag-til-ny-arkivlov-forskelsbehandler-borgere-og-kommuner
[4] Interview with Anne Sofie Fink, The Danish National Archives, 28 April 2020.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership