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Sweden

Open Data Plan (SE0017)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sweden Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Agency for Digital Government

Support Institution(s): Government Offices of Sweden

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sweden 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

One common issue raised in all the studies carried out is that there is no national coordinated approach to open data and how Sweden should be working to develop it. As part of a wider whole of strategic data management, an open data action plan is therefore fundamental to working on this issue. This is also one of the most important recommendations regarding commitments in the OGP Action Plan submitted in Isaksson and Novak’s report.

As stated by OGP, open data is the cornerstone of open, collaborative administration. To demonstrate the Government’s ambitions with open data, Sweden must therefore draw up a
national open data action plan. This task has been given to DIGG, which is to produce a proposed action plan for making open data more accessible and using it more widely on the basis of the OECD’s OURdata index.

In addition to strategically developing the issue, an action plan will also aid transparency in that it will clearly set out how the Government is prioritising and working with open data.
• Responsible actor: Agency for Digital Government (DIGG). Report to be submitted by: March 31st, 2020.
• Other actors: Government Offices of Sweden (Ministry of Infrastructure).
• Contributes towards OGP principles: Transparency, Technology and Innovation.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. A national open data action plan

Main Objective

"One common issue raised in all the studies carried out is that there is no national coordinated approach to open data and how Sweden should be working to develop it. As part of a wider whole of strategic data management, an open data action plan is therefore fundamental to working on this issue. This is also one of the most important recommendations regarding commitments in the OGP Action Plan submitted in Isaksson and Novak's report.

As stated by OGP, open data is the cornerstone of open, collaborative administration. To demonstrate the Government's ambitions with open data, Sweden must therefore draw up a national open data action plan. This task has been given to DIGG, which is to produce a proposed action plan for making open data more accessible and using it more widely on the basis of the OECD's OURdata index.

In addition to strategically developing the issue, an action plan will also aid transparency in that it will clearly set out how the Government is prioritising and working with open data."

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Sweden's 2019-2021 action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Sweden_Action-Plan_2019-2021_EN.pdf

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Access to Information

Potential impact:

Moderate

Commitment Analysis

Although Sweden's public sector is characterised by high levels of transparency, there remains room for improvement regarding open data availability and accessibility in the country. Prior to the start of the action plan, Sweden was one of the few Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries that did not have a formal open data policy in place. [1] The OECD has noted that Sweden lagged behind other OECD countries in:

  • defining overarching formal requirements for all ministries and agencies to publish and share data
  • implementing open government data requirements (e.g. timeliness of data sharing, use of open formats) as part of performance indicators of organisations
  • encouraging and guiding public sector organisations to carry out consultations with users to inform open data plans and prioritising data publication. [2]

Furthermore, Sweden ranked 23 out of the EU28+ countries in the European Commission's 2019 Open Data Maturity Index, putting it in the "Follower" group. [3] The Index notes that, although Sweden has guidelines that recommend all public bodies appoint a responsible person for open data, only a few public bodies comply with this recommendation. [4]

To improve open data infrastructure and policy framework and address these inconsistencies, this commitment aims to propose a national open data action plan for Sweden. The Agency for Digital Governance (DIGG) is responsible for creating the open data action plan proposal. This proposal for a national open data action plan is relevant to the OGP value of access to information. The commitment is verifiable, though the only planned activity is for DIGG to produce a proposed action plan, using the OECD's OURdata index as a basis. [5]

The OECD has found that open data initiatives in Sweden are often "isolated and silo-driven," and developed by small groups of public agencies rather than government-wide efforts. [6] Therefore, the creation of a single, comprehensive open data strategy for all ministries and agencies could significantly improve open data availability and accessibility of open data in Sweden. In particular, it could help standardise open data publishing practices across all government ministries and agencies, including the format and timing of publication.

Ultimately, the potential impact of the national open data action plan will depend on its content and the way in which it is implemented across the government. According to a DIGG representative, all government agencies in Sweden are proposed to be covered by the open data action plan. [7] DIGG will develop its action plan proposal through workshops with open data users and civil society working in open data. [8] DIGG will also determine which datasets to include in the proposed action plan based on the expressed user needs on high-value datasets, according to the open data and public sector information (PSI) directive, as well as through an analysis of high-value data in the OURdata index. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, there will be a consultation process during the creation of the strategy, which will involve representatives of the industry and IT sectors, civil society, public agencies, and municipal and regional governments. [9] It should be noted, however, that the commitment calls for DIGG to provide a proposed action plan, and not a final plan. After DIGG develops its proposal, the Swedish parliament and responsible ministries must ensure its realisation. [10]

According to the action plan, the draft national open data strategy will be completed by March 2020. [11] According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, it is currently not decided whether the final open data action plan will have a revision process, but the plan will be continuously updated in collaboration with stakeholders. [12] In order to maximise the ambition of the new open data action plan, the IRM recommends the following:

  • The government could continuously consult data users in its implementation, including CSOs and open data experts. This could help build mutual ownership of the open data action plan and ensure stakeholders are able to monitor compliance with its principles and recommendations.
  • Periodically revisit and update the plan to ensure it continues to meet the needs of data users in Sweden.
  • Once the action plan is in place, the IRM recommends raising awareness and promoting its usage among public agencies responsible for publishing data. For example, Ireland's second OGP action plan included a commitment to develop an open data strategy 2017-2020 in consultation with relevant stakeholders, along with trainings and awareness raising among public servants on open data. [13]
  • Lastly, the IRM recommends that Sweden's open data action plan prioritise certain categories of data relevant to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with OGP guidance. [14]
[2] Ibid. p. 115.
[3] European Data Portal, Open Data Maturity Report 2019, p. 72, https://www.europeandataportal.eu/sites/default/files/open_data_maturity_report_2019.pdf
[4] Ibid. p. 17.
[5] OECD, Open, Useful and Re-usable Data (OURdata) Index: 2019, p.110, http://www.oecd.org/gov/digital-government/ourdata-index-policy-paper-2020.pdf
[7] Kristine Ulander, Agency for Digital Government, email correspondence with IRM, 18 September 2020.
[8] The representatives will include, among others, open data transparency advocates, CSOs, startups, developers, researchers, and students. Civil servants varied from information managers, open data project managers, and management at both federal and municipal level.
[9] Sumbat Daniel Sarkis, point of contact to OGP, Ministry of Infrastructure, email correspondence with IRM, 25 September 2020.
[10] Kristine Ulander, Agency for Digital Government, email correspondence with IRM, 18 September 2020.
[12] Sumbat Daniel Sarkis, point of contact to OGP, Ministry of Infrastructure, email correspondence with IRM, 25 September 2020.

Commitments

  1. Open Data Plan

    SE0017, 2019, Access to Information

  2. Make Open Data Accessible

    SE0018, 2019, Access to Information

  3. Capacity-Building in Digital Sector

    SE0019, 2019, Access to Information

  4. Dialogue with Civil Society

    SE0020, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Starred commitment Citizen-Centered e-Government

    SE0013, 2016, Access to Information

  6. Re-Use of Public Administration Documents and Open Data

    SE0014, 2016, Access to Information

  7. Transparency in Aid Management

    SE0015, 2016, Aid

  8. Developing a New Format for Dialogue with CSOs

    SE0016, 2016, Public Participation

  9. Putting Citizens at the Centre (Egovernment) of Government Administration Reforms

    SE0008, 2014, Access to Information

  10. A Step Further on the Re-Use of Public Administration Documents

    SE0009, 2014, Capacity Building

  11. Increased Access to Swedish Aid Information

    SE0010, 2014, Access to Information

  12. Improved Opportunities for Dialogue and Transparency in Aid Management and Implementation

    SE0011, 2014, Aid

  13. Increased Aid Transparency at Global Level

    SE0012, 2014, Aid

  14. Continuing the Development of the Openaid.Se Platform

    SE0001, 2012, Aid

  15. Ensuring Full Implementation of the IATI Standard by 2015

    SE0002, 2012, Access to Information

  16. Implementing the Commitments in the Busan Partnership Document

    SE0003, 2012, Access to Information

  17. Playing a Leading Role in the Building Block on Transparency

    SE0004, 2012, Capacity Building

  18. Contributing to Further Define the Work Towards an EU Transparency Guarantee

    SE0005, 2012, Capacity Building

  19. Engaging in the Open Aid Partnership and Promoting ICT4D

    SE0006, 2012, Aid

  20. Broadening Open Government Commitments

    SE0007, 2012,

Open Government Partnership