To Adopt a Policy on Data Standards and Classification Frameworks (TT0006)
To adopt, as a matter of Government policy, data standards and classification frameworks, through a multistakeholder consultative process.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
2.1 Data Standards Policy
Commitment Text: To adopt, as a matter of Government policy, data standards and classification frameworks, through a multi-stakeholder consultative process.
Responsible Institution: Ministry of Science and Technology
Supporting Institutions: Ministry of Public Administration and Communications (MPAC), The National Information and Communication Technology Company (iGovTT), E-Business Information Technology and Telecommunications (eBitt), IT enterprises, e-business round table
Start Date: September 2014 ............. End Date: June 2016
This commitment aims to develop an access to information classification and standard for open data initiatives. There is no Trinidad and Tobago government policy that informs the publication of government data in open formats.
As of 7 September 2015, the MPAC indicated that, instead of developing a data standards policy, the National Information and Communication Technology Company’s Draft Data Classification Policy would be used and amended as necessary. The IRM researcher verified this and found details in the MPAC annual report.[Note 20: Ministry of Public Administration, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Annual Report 2013-2014 October-September: Our Journey to Diamond: Enhancing the Capability of the Public Service (Port of Spain, August 2015), http://bit.ly/2sn5evm. ] However, the project duration, including the start date, was missing from the report. For further information, please see the midterm IRM evaluation report.[Note 21: Open Government Partnership, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Trinidad and Tobago progress report 2014–2015, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/TrinidadTobago_14-15_Final_0.pdf. ]
End of term: Limited
There has been no change in the status of this commitment since the midterm report. Based on feedback from public officials,[Note 22: Feedback was given by two Ministry of Public Administration and Communications public officials working on open data initiatives.] the open data standards policy is in draft form but is used to guide internal open data initiatives.
The IRM researcher also reports that no further evidence was provided by the interviewed public official concerning the draft open data standards policy or its use as an internal document.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Did not change
This commitment was created to address the lack of institutionalised mechanisms and systems to publish government data in open data formats. In addition to setting the rules, classifying accessible government data, and deciding formats, this commitment could aid the current access to information law: the Freedom of Information Act.[Note 23: Freedom of Infromation Act available at: http://bit.ly/2rZDxVF. ] According to one civil society stakeholder involved in open data initiatives in Trinidad and Tobago, [Note 24: An interview was conducted with a local technology expert on 14 September 2016.] while the establishment of a policy is important for open data, the government already has agencies that publish government data for the public, such as the National Agricultural Marketing Development Corporation.[Note 25: See National Agricultural Marketing Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO), http://www.namdevco.com/. ] Given the limited level of completion of this commitment, it did not change or open government. It did not facilitate the disclosure of more government information, nor did it improve the quality of government information that was already made available.
At the time of the writing of this report, the government did not conduct any consultations to develop the next action plan. This commitment should be retained and redrafted to be more comprehensive and ambitious. For example, it could include a milestone that mandates publishing data sets in the open data readiness assessment.
For this commitment to achieve a completed status, government should move the policy from the draft phase and adopt it as practise. It should also adopt the TTDS to monitor its implementation.
Trinidad and Tobago's Commitments
To Certify Public Agencies’ Service Quality
TT0001, 2014, Capacity Building
To Develop Human Resources Management Capacity in the Public Service
TT0002, 2014, Capacity Building
To Conduct a Pilot Project for the Development and Introduction of a “Easier Life for Citizens” Index
TT0003, 2014, Public Service Delivery
To Develop Interactive Media on Government Business Processes and Programs to Better Access Government Services
TT0004, 2014, Public Service Delivery
To Establish a Contact Centre to Address the Needs of National Scholars (Local and International) of Trinidad and Tobago
TT0005, 2014, Education
To Adopt a Policy on Data Standards and Classification Frameworks
TT0006, 2014, Open Data
To Increase the Number of Publicly Accessible Government Datasets in Open Formats
TT0007, 2014, Open Data
To Conduct a Diagnostic Review of Public Information Needs
TT0008, 2014, Open Data
To Create an Easily Accessible Open Government Portal , with a Platform/Repository for Open Data, as Well as an Interface to Allow for Feedback from the Public
TT0009, 2014, Open Data
To Create a Civil Society Board
TT0010, 2014, Public Participation
To Audit the Accounts of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs to International Standards
TT0011, 2014, Audits and Controls
To Make Publicly Available the Cadastre of Licenses and Contracts for the Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas in Trinidad and Tobago
TT0012, 2014, E-Government
To Include the Mineral Sector (Starting with National Quarries Company Ltd) in the TTEITI Reporting Mechanism
TT0013, 2014, E-Government