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Greece

Implementation of Platform for Central Distribution of Public Open Data (GR0016)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Greece Second Action Plan for 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Within the context of the implementation and operation of the Greek Government G-Cloud Datacenter, a new central site will be implemented for gathering, storing, disposing and searching open data and linked open data. It will consist of the open data portal data.gov.gr serving citizens and businesses for data retrieval, the website submit.data.gov.gr serving authorized officials in documenting, describing and disposing open data, and a set of specialized tools that through published APIs will deliver all necessary interoperability services for extracting information from systems, devices, applications and third party platforms. Thus the platform will (automatically) collect through standardized processes data generated from the IT systems of public bodies, and will make it available to citizens and businesses.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2.3. Central open data platform

Commitment Text:

Within the context of the implementation and operation of the Greek Government G-Cloud Datacenter, a new central site will be implemented for gathering, storing, disposing and searching open data and linked open data. It will consist of the open data portal data.gov.gr serving citizens and businesses for data retrieval, the website submit.data.gov.gr serving authorized officials in documenting, describing and disposing open data, and a set of specialized tools that through published APIs will deliver all necessary interoperability services for extracting information from systems, devices, applications and third party platforms. Thus the platform will (automatically) collect through standardized processes data generated from the IT systems of public bodies, and will make it available to citizens and businesses.
Milestones –Timescales
The milestones and implementation timescale have as follows:

       2.3.1 Signing of the implementation contract (July 2014)

       2.3.2 Implementation Study completion and commencement of pilot phase of the platform (November 2014)

        2.3.3 Roll-out of the platform with all the available open data sets (June 2015)

Responsible institution: Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date:   June 2014            End date: June 2015

Commitment Aim:

A common issue in information access policies is creating a web platform to act as a central open data repository. The Greek government had created an initial version of a central platform as of 2013. This commitment aims to take the experimental version of the national open data web platform to a new, fully operational level. The goal of the new data.gov.gr portal is to establish standardized, automatic collection processes for data generated from public IT systems and make this data available to citizens and businesses.

Status

Midterm: Limited

At the midpoint assessment, Greece had completed only one out of three commitment activities. The new version of the data.gov.gr website (Milestone 2.3.3) was up and running during the midterm progress report period. The only missing feature of the platform was a tool that would facilitate the automatic, direct uploading of data from public agencies. However, Greece had not yet begun Milestones 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 regarding the signing of a contract, implementation study and pilot phase. The government altered both Milestones following delays that resulted in transitioning the platform development to in-house resources and expertise. As of the midterm, the contract signing was rescheduled for April 2016.

End of term: Substantial

Based on the discussions between The Openwise IRM research teams and government officials during the interministerial OGP government group, the data portal is still pending the automatic uploading feature that would facilitate the immediate publishing of datasets from public agencies. According to the public employee who was responsible for the in-house development of data.gov.gr, the Ministry of Finance has attempted to use the application program interface (API) in order to produce the automatic uploading functionality. Also, the government has published the annual report that evaluates the overall implementation of the open data policies.[Note 12: The annual report is available here: https://diavgeia.gov.gr/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/%CE%95%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CE%88%CE%BA%CE%B8%CE%B5%CF%83%CE%B7.pdf.] Beyond stating the importance of open data, this document emphasizes the need to encourage more agencies to publish their data by employing promotional actions and planning cooperation with academic and research centres. Given that data.gov.gr website is essentially operational and a steadily increasing number of agencies are publishing their data and information, The Openwise IRM research team conclude the overall completion level of this commitment is substantial.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

This commitment intended to address the lack of a central online repository in which public agencies could provide their data in appropriate, machine readable formats. Greece expected the revamped data.gov.gr to rectify this deficiency by providing a central platform for public agency data. As a result, a growing number of public agencies provided datasets and information to the website. However, despite the growing number of agencies publishing diverse data (limited only by national security and personal data considerations), there lacked an increase in data quality. The Openwise IRM research team and CSOs concluded problems remain mainly with the quality of datasets in terms of available formats and the actual utility of the released public data.[Note 13: Email discussions held during the midterm report with Theodoros Karounos, Vice President of Greek Free Open Source Society and Spyros Athanasiou, researcher, Athena research Center.] Advanced uses of the data, such as developing applications, is hindered by the fact that many datasets are not machine readable. Potential utility of the released data remains low in many cases where agencies publish hyperlinks that bring users to announcements of textual information on their websites instead of accessible datasets.[Note 14: Some of the most recent examples of this practice can be found at “Tables fines items,” data.gov.gr, http://data.gov.gr/dataset/pinakes-stoixeiwn-epiblh8entwn-prostimwn/resource/6b2fc6d8-e045-4be0-bf9e-ff740b087c54 and at “Popular Register – File Procedures,” data.gov.gr, http://data.gov.gr/dataset/dhmotologio-arxeio-diadikasiwn/resource/e5887576-c4af-4428-af4e-a6ac7477ebdb.] While quantity remains an issue given the small fraction of participating agencies, CSOs are more concerned with data quality.[Note 15: “Interministerial OGP” (interview, Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, 31 Aug. 2016).] Thus, The Openwise IRM research team conclude this commitment’s implementation had only a marginal effect on opening government.

Carried forward?

The third action plan does not carry forward this commitment. This omission might be due to the fact that the central online platform data.gov.gr is operational and experiencing steadily increasing numbers of publicly available open datasets. A future action plan should focus on targeting open data commitments to address civil society concerns about the quality of released data.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership