Establishing a Platform for Data Mashing (Pilot 11 Institutions) (MK0051)
Establishing a platform for data mashing (pilot 11 institutions)
IRM End of Term Status Summary
V. Open Data: Standards and Platform
Commitment 2.2 Technical Standards
Commitment Text: 2.2. Setting of technical standards for the data format and the manner of its publication prescribed by the Minister of Information Society and Administration.
Commitment 2.5 Datasets Requests
Commitment Text: 2.5. Introducing the possibility for submission of a request by the interested parties for new datasets for use.
Commitment 2.6 Data Mashup Platform
Commitment Text: 2.6. Establishing a platform for data mashing (pilot 11 institutions).
Responsible institution(s): Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MISA)
Supporting institution(s): None specified
Start Date: 1/5/2014 End Date: 30/6/2015
This cluster was intended to improve open data in Macedonia, by regulating and specifying legal, technical, and procedural aspects of releasing data.
Commitment 2.2: Complete
Commitment 2.5: Complete
Commitment 2.6: Complete
In January 2015, the government adopted the “Rule Book on Minimal Technical Possibilities of the Public Sector Bodies and Institutions for Data Publication and Technical Normative of the Data Format and Fashion of Publication.”[Note 47: Published in the Official Gazette No.15/2015, 2 February 2015.] This came into effect in February 2015, and set technical standards for data format and publication. With this, the commitment was completed.
Commitment 2.5 (making it possible to request data) was also completed in the first year of implementation. The new open data portal, launched in July 2014, allows stakeholders to request the release of data in open formats.[Note 48: Direct link at: http://bit.ly/1LOEQMY.]
Commitment 2.6 refers to a platform to allow a mashup, or combination, of different data. The platform included 11 institutions in the pilot phase, but the IRM review found that the government introduced a data intersection function on the portal that expanded the application to all institutions that provided datasets.
Based on the government’s end of term self-assessment report, these commitments were completed, and no further progress was noted. The IRM researcher confirmed that limitations noted in the midterm report remain. Most importantly, the functionality of the platform is built for all current and future datasets. The IRM researcher tested this with only three datasets, although most of the published data are not databases. This renders the possibility of combining data very limited in practice. Additionally, no new datasets were released in the second year of implementation. Eleven were published between July and September 2016.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal
These commitments were built on recommendations from the IRM review of the first national action plan. The open data portal was considered a potentially transformative measure. Along with the newly-adopted Law for Use of Data from the Public Sector, it offers incentives and obligations for the proactive release of data that was limited at the time of adoption of the action plan.
The commitments were a positive step forward in providing proactive access to information. However, the impact was marginal, mainly because only few institutions released data. Twenty-seven out of the 85 government bodies (or 128 institutions included under the law) released data to the public. Moreover, the type and quantity of data were insufficient. For example, the most used data was the address book of kindergartens and, by law, the data released only contained a single variable. Finally, usability of the data was limited. Most data, while released in an open format, did not allow reuse, due to the way they were recorded and stored. The IRM researcher’s review of the portal revealed that more than half of the published data (56%) was never downloaded, while only seven pieces of data (less than 5%) were downloaded more than 100 times. The most popular data were downloaded 448 times. The IRM researcher believes the standards should improve the situation in the future; however, the effects were limited during the second action plan.
The commitments were completed, and there is no follow up in the new action plan. However, the government contends that activities within the Strategy for E-Government and Open Data will continue outside the OGP process.