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France

Co-produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society (FR0014)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France, First Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification attached to the Prime Minister; Ministry of State for the Digital Sector, attached to the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Open Data, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: France End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, France Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

STAKES The new forms of collaboration between administrations and civil society enable to create new common goods, necessary to public service, society and economy, in faster, more efficient and more cost effective ways than in the past.

CONTEXT & AIM With the diffusion of digital power in society, citizens are becoming more and more committed to producing resources that, until now, only public authority could produce. This situation could be a key opportunity for public authority to learn working with civil society. It is not only a source of democratic progress and a resource for improving the quality of public service, but also a means of retaining, in the public area, common assets which could eventually be threatened by the emergence of new de facto digital monopolies. For example, in April 2015, the National Institute of Geographical and Forestry Information (IGN), the La Poste Group, the Secretariat-General for Government Modernization and OpenStreetMap France inaugurated a collaborative national address database containing 20 million open data addresses18. It was released under a "share-alike” license by the French Postal Services (La Poste Group) and the IGN and under an ODBL license by the OpenStreetMap association. This agreement initiated a new chapter in the government's open data policy and the policy of open government, which goes beyond access to administrative documents. It involves supporting the creation and maintenance of major collaborative common assets to serve the economic dynamism, the efficiency of public service and the autonomy of citizens. This effort is continuing with the development, still under ODBL license, of a database including all establishments open to the public, along with their characteristics.

ROADMAP
• Increase cooperation between public players and civil society in constituting essential data infrastructure and key registers

IRM End of Term Status Summary

11. Co-produce with civil society the data infrastructure essential to society and economy

Commitment Text:

The new forms of collaboration between administrations and civil society enable to create new common goods, necessary to public service, society and economy, in faster, more efficient and more cost effective ways than in the past.

With the diffusion of digital power in society, citizens are becoming more and more committed to producing resources that, until now, only public authority could produce. This situation could be a key opportunity for public authority to learn working with civil society. It is not only a source of democratic progress and a resource for improving the quality of public service, but also a means of retaining, in the public area, common assets which could eventually be threatened by the emergence of new de facto digital monopolies.

For example, in April 2015, the National Institute of Geographical and Forestry Information (IGN), the La Poste Group, the Secretariat-General for Government Modernization and OpenStreetMap France inaugurated a collaborative national address database containing 20 million open data addresses. It was released under a 'share-alike” license by the French Postal Services (La Poste Group) and the IGN and under an ODBL license by the OpenStreetMap association.

This agreement initiated a new chapter in the government's open data policy and the policy of open government, which goes beyond access to administrative documents. It involves supporting the creation and maintenance of major collaborative common assets to serve the economic dynamism, the efficiency of public service and the autonomy of citizens.

This effort is continuing with the development, still under ODBL license, of a database including all establishments open to the public, along with their characteristics.

ROADMAP

• Increase cooperation between public players and civil society in constituting essential data infrastructure and key registers

Responsible Institutions: Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification attached to the Prime Minister; Ministry of State for the Digital Sector, attached to the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector

Supporting Institution(s): N/A

Start Date: Not Specified  

End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to involve civil society in the development of central and local governments' data infrastructure. Through the Digital Republic Bill, which would require the state to generate and release data as a public service and to make reference data open by default, this commitment sought to ensure that the process of identifying and prioritising essential data involved civil society. The commitment, however, was unclear regarding activities and outputs.

Status

Midterm: Limited

The first year of implementation largely focused on reflection and gathering inputs from stakeholders. The government intended to carry out the majority of the commitment deliverables in the second year of implementation. During this time, the government joined several national-level, collaborative initiatives, such as the publication of the national address database (BAN), a result of continued cooperation between the National Geographic Institute (IGN), La Poste, SGMAP, the association OpenStreetMap France, and local authorities.

In July 2016, the State Secretariat for Digital Affairs commissioned the organisation Open Data France to establish, along with civil society and local governments, a list of essential and reference datasets to be published. Open Data France published the list in an October 2016 report. It is also worth mentioning that according to stakeholders, the collaboration to define reference datasets created an ongoing dialogue between civil society, local governments, and national administrations. In addition, Etalab organised multiple initiatives to continue opening more reference datasets. In November 2016, Etalab held two hackathons. The first focused on preparations to open the national company register, SIRENE, containing more than 10 million legal entities. The second involved collaboration between the Ministry of Interior and civil society to define the data schema needed to open polling station data.

End of Term: Substantial

The government self-assessment considers this commitment complete due to the opening of nine reference datasets. The commitment text however concerns cooperation with civil society rather than the opening of new data. Due to the ambiguous commitment text and the scarcity of public information, the IRM researcher considers the commitment to be substantial rather than complete.

Etalab is responsible for the newly established public service of data, created by Article 14 of the Digital Republic Law. In September 2017, there were nine datasets available on the data.gouv.fr platform: the national address database, the national company register SIRENE, the Official Geographic Code, the digital cadastral plan, the graphic parcel register, reference data for the state's administration, large scale reference data, the National Association Directory, and the Operational Directory of occupations and employment. Six of these datasets had been identified as key reference datasets in the impact study of the Digital Republic Law (all except the geographic code, the administration data, and the Operational directory).[Note79: National Assembly, Projet de loi pour une République numérique – étude d'impact (9 Dec. 2015), http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/projets/pl3318-ei.asp (accessed 30 Sept. 2017).] The datasets had all been updated within the last six months.

The government self-assessment notes that prior to the production of Decree n° 2017-331, adopted 14 March 2017, Etalab organised a public online consultation from 29 September 2016 to 20 October 2016 on the list of relevant reference data, the conditions of data provision, and the quality criteria. Etalab received 160 contributions from public officials (40%), private citizens (30%), private companies (20%), and associations (10%). The dataset containing the contributions has not been cleaned and does not link the contributions to actors or groups. There is no public information on the mechanism used by Etalab to take these contributions into account in the implementation decree. An interview with a former government stakeholder confirmed that civil society contributions were important in selecting the essential datasets but indicated that other factors also played a part, such as the availability and quality of the datasets, the amount of available resources to maintain them, and their recognised structural value.[Note80: Former member of the Prime Minister's cabinet, personal communication with IRM researcher, 6 Nov. 2017.]

A bylaw published 14 June 2017[Note81: Arrêté du 14 juin 2017 relatif aux règles techniques et d'organisation de mise à disposition des données de référence prévues à l'article L. 321-4 du code des relations entre le public et l'administration, https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000034944648&dateTexte=&categorieLien=id. (accessed 30 Sept. 2017).] sets the rules regarding the publication of reference data as well as provides information about producing reference data, the frequency of updates, and methods of accessing the data. It provides a list of minimum metadata and indicates which datasets are to be updated daily, weekly, or monthly. It also states that reference data should be made available as a downloadable dataset and through an API.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

Civic Participation: Marginal

During the implementation period, the government opened several sets of reference data and consulted the public on the development of the country's essential data infrastructure. As such, the commitment is a step forward for government openness in access to information. This commitment marginally opened government with respect to civic participation, since stakeholders were consulted on identifying key data but it is unclear how these inputs were included in the criteria for releasing information nor is there information about the mechanisms used to include public contributions in decision-making.

As a result of this commitment, the government discloses more information than previously, and does so in an open data format. The Digital Republic Law, Article 14, provides for public access to reference data while the bylaw published 14 June 2017 provides operational and technical guidance for the publication of reference data. The dedicated webpage on data.gouv.fr contained nine datasets in September 2017 and five of them had been reused at least once, with the result published on data.gouv.fr.

Regarding civic participation, the government appears to have made an effort to consult civil society in identifying key data but the IRM researcher did not find any public information on the criteria for selecting which data would be considered as reference data. The consultation findings[Note82: Available at https://www.etalab.gouv.fr/consultation-spd (accessed 13 April 2018).] list many datasets that contributors identified as key but that were not included in the final reference data. Moreover, the commitment title reflected ambition greater than simply a public consultation as the data infrastructure was to be co-constructed.

Carried Forward?

This commitment was carried over to the next action plan. In the new action plan, the commitment focuses on opening new datasets; on improving the open data platform (data.gouv.fr); on assisting government agencies with opening their data and fostering dialogue with public officials; and on evaluating the impact of the efforts already taken in opening data.


France's Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, E-Government

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Aid

  4. Expand open data

    FR0033, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improved data policies and administration

    FR0034, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open data at sub-national level

    FR0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. State AI lab

    FR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Administrative capacity-building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline data flows

    FR0040, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Etat forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online procedures dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. GovTech summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove public consultation mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International transparency and citizen participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public pariticipation in sustainable development

    FR0046, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, E-Government

  19. Citizen involvement in Cour des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Private sector transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  21. Access to information on public officials

    FR0050, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  23. Publish municipal council decisions and reports online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish building permits in open data format

    FR0003, 2015, Open Data

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Aid

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, E-Government

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Labor

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-it

    FR0013, 2015, Open Data

  35. Co-produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Open Data

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Public Participation

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Judiciary

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Land & Spatial Planning

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Open Data

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Conflicts of Interest

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Open Data

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate