National Open Data Agenda (NL0019)
Action Plan: Netherlands 2016-2018 National Action Plan
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
Lead Institution: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
Support Institution(s): All other ministries
Policy AreasCapacity Building, Open Data, Records Management, Right to Information
In the manifesto Onze Overheid, Onze Informatie (‘Our government, our information’), various civil society organisations call on the government to accelerate the process of making data available and accessible. “Only then can members of the public, data journalists and programmers assess the true value of the data and use it in their analyses and interpretations.” Open data will certainly make the government and its processes more transparent for the general public. It will also allow the private sector to develop new applications, products and services. All ministries are therefore working to make the data they hold available to society at large. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), in association with those other ministries, must establish frameworks governing how the data is to be made accessible and the quality requirements it must meet. We shall do so by means of the National Open Data Agenda. The Ministry of BZK will also support and assist other public sector authorities and the (re-) users of the data. The online portal https://data.overheid.nl serves as the central access point for all government data.
IRM Midterm Status Summary
In the manifesto Onze Overheid, Onze Informatie (‘Our government, our Information’), various civil society organisations call on the government to accelerate the process of making data available and accessible. Open data will certainly make the government and its processes more transparent for the general public. It will also allow the private sector to develop new applications, products and services. All ministries are therefore working to make the data they hold available to society at large. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), in association with those other ministries, must establish frameworks governing how the data is to be made accessible and the quality requirements it must meet. We shall do so by means of the National Open Data Agenda. The Ministry of BZK will also support and assist other public sector authorities and the (re-) users of the data. The online portal https://data.overheid.nl serves as the central access point for all government data.
1. The portal https://data.overheid.nl is fully accessible and its datasets are ‘usable’
2. The government-wide inventory of datasets is to be repeated and updated regularly
3. The ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will monitor progress in publishing datasets through the data.overheid.nl portal
4. The ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will assist other governments in publishing data
5. The ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will offer assistance registering, finding, and re-using data
a. Visitors of the data portal data.overheid.nl. can submit requests for the publishing of specific datasets by the government. The ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will publish these data requests and the corresponding results on the data portal.
b. An open data users group is to be set up to assess the functioning of the portal. A public session will be held at least 4 times a year, in which data owners, re-users, developers and civil society organisations meet and exchange experiences and ideas.
Responsible Institution: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
Supporting Institution(s): All other departments, municipalities, water boards and provinces
Start date: 1 January 2016 End date: 30 June 2018
Editorial Note: This is a truncated version of the milestone text. For the full commitment text, please see The Netherlands National Action Plan (https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Netherlands_NAP-Appendix_2016-2018_EN_revised-with-changes.pdf)
Context and Objectives
This commitment builds on the open data measures in the first action plan and seeks to increase the number of published data on data.overheid.nl that aligns with the open data standard. Despite the fact that the amount of available open data has doubled, XX[Note60: Dutch Court of Audit, rekenkamer.nl/publicaties/rapporten/2016/03/24/trendrapport-open-data-2016.]XX the majority of data is being published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, and other government ministries lag behind. At the start of this commitment, around 10 percent of all government agencies published data on data.overheid.nl. The Dutch government aims to increase the number and quality of available datasets.
The commitment activities include establishing an inventory of datasets, monitoring progress on publishing datasets and providing assistance to other agencies to ensure their datasets conform to universal data description and re-usability standards. While commitment activities outline the responsibilities of different actors involved, the action plan does not specify the number or quality of datasets that should be made available, making it difficult to assess progress. Furthermore, the end dates and goals of listed milestones are not always clear.
By increasing the number of free, reusable, open government data and allowing the public to request publication of datasets, this commitment is relevant to access to information.
This commitment represents a positive step in improving the amount and structure of data provided. However, even if fully implemented, it is difficult to determine if the potential impact would be greater than minor. While 10 percent of government agencies currently disclose data on the portal, there is no specified target for increased disclosure.
The commitment’s completion so far has been limited. In September 2017, 11,676 datasets were published on data.overheid.nl. XX[Note61: Data portal, data.overheid.nl/statistieken.]XX According to the government self-assessment report, 11,322 are available under open license. The commitment text aimed for at least 90 percent of the links to reusable data to be accurate: according to ‘link checker’ shown in the website, 97.9 percent of the links are correct. The self-assessment also reports that datasets are ‘usable’ and comply with set standards (milestone 1). XX[Note62: Midterm self-assessment report, opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Netherlands_Mid-term_Self-Assessment-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf.]XX However, there is no independent source that can confirm this. According to the website, only a minority of national, regional and local government agencies participate by publishing their data on the site. XX[Note63: Data portal, data.overheid.nl/monitor/organisaties.]XX For instance, out of nearly 400 municipalities, only 34 have uploaded one or more datasets.
In early 2017, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations carried out a government-wide inventory (milestone 2). According to the self-assessment, the results have been published on data.overheid.nl and have been sent to Parliament. XX[Note64: Ministry inventory, zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-32802-37.html.]XX Though the data managers check the data on the website every day, the original owners of the datasets (the government agencies) remain responsible for the data uploaded on to the portal, and there is no guarantee that all data are license free.
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has not begun work on monitoring progress (milestone 3). There is a support team responsible for monitoring the published datasets on data.overheid.nl but that there is no publicly available information that the support team fulfills this task, and the government did not reply to requests for evidence of monitoring progress.
Unlike the statement in the government self-assessment report, the ministry’s spokesperson informed the IRM researcher that the manual (milestone 4) has not been updated yet. At the time of writing, no changes to the manual has been made. According to the government’s spokesperson, a support team of two full-time employees are available to assist government agencies in publishing their data (milestone 5). This support team also performs inventories of datasets and updates the manual for public sector authorities. The team initiated user group meetings that are open to the public. XX[Note65: Data portal, data.overheid.nl/bijeenkomsten.]XX
Early Results (if any)
According to the statistics page of data.overheid.nl, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has handled 615 data requests since 1 January 2015. XX[Note66: Data portal, data.overheid.nl/statistieken.]XX
The IRM researcher recommends the continued implementation of this commitment in the remaining period of the action plan. If taken forward into the next action plan, the government should consider the following modifications.
First, the government needs to reformulate the milestones to clearly list its goals and end dates. Second, the Dutch Court of Audit suggests the government consider the example of the UK for data infrastructure and the establishment of a Data Institute. XX[Note67: Dutch Court of Audit, rekenkamer.nl/publicaties/rapporten/2016/03/24/trendrapport-open-data-2016.]XX Third, the government should address CSOs’ calls for more open data apps or other tools that can be used by non-specialized users to extract the information they need. It may be a good start to cooperate with VNG/KING and OSF to add explanatory texts to local open spending information.
local digital democracy
NL0028, 2018, E-Government
NL0029, 2018, Capacity Building
NL0030, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions
NL0031, 2018, Capacity Building
open local decision-making
NL0032, 2018, Capacity Building
‘Open by Design’ pilots
NL0033, 2018, E-Government
NL0034, 2018, Open Contracting and Procurement
NL0035, 2018, Audits and Controls
Open government standard and dashboard
NL0036, 2018, E-Government
Pioneering Network for an Open Government for Municipalities
NL0037, 2018, Capacity Building
Transparent political party finance
NL0038, 2018, Legislation & Regulation
National Open Data Agenda
NL0019, 2016, Capacity Building
Stuiveling Open Data Award
NL0020, 2016, Open Data
Groningen Open Data Re-use
NL0021, 2016, Infrastructure & Transport
Releasing ministerial research reports
NL0022, 2016, Health
Detailed open spending data
NL0023, 2016, Fiscal Transparency
Open local authority decision-making
NL0024, 2016, Open Data
Training civil servants on public participation
NL0025, 2016, Capacity Building
Easier freedom of information requests
NL0026, 2016, Capacity Building
Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO)
NL0027, 2016, Capacity Building
Further develop and promote disclosure and use of Open Data
NL0001, 2013, E-Government
Increase financial transparency through Open Budget and experiments with Open Spending and Budget Monitoring
NL0002, 2013, E-Government
Open House of Representatives
NL0003, 2013, E-Government
Instruments for integrity
NL0004, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions
Revamp the legislative calendar
NL0005, 2013, E-Government
More online consultation
NL0006, 2013, E-Government
More transparency in decision-making through Volgdewet.nl legislation-tracking website
NL0007, 2013, E-Government
Informal approach to freedom of information requests
NL0008, 2013, Right to Information
From Rules to Freedom
NL0009, 2013, Public Participation
Change attitudes and procedures through Smarter
Working and ‘Public Servant 2.0’
NL0010, 2013, Capacity Building
NL0011, 2013, Public Participation
Develop and implement participation policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
NL0012, 2013, Public Participation
Make government information accessible and easy to
NL0013, 2013, Capacity Building
Make citizens better informed and more empowered: public inspection and correction of information
NL0014, 2013, E-Government
Open announcements and notifications
NL0015, 2013, E-Government
Public services and the user perspective
NL0016, 2013, E-Government
Designate categories of government information for
NL0017, 2013, Capacity Building
Rethink information management and active access: four ‘open by design’ pilot projects
NL0018, 2013, E-Government