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Trinidad and Tobago

To Adopt a Policy on Data Standards and Classification Frameworks (TT0006)



Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Ministry of Science and Technology

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Public Administration, iGovTT, eBitt, IT enterprises, e-business round table

Policy Areas

Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Trinidad and Tobago End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



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

Commitment Aim

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.


Midterm: Limited

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), ] 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, ]

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: ] 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), ] 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.

Carried forward?

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.


  1. To Certify Public Agencies’ Service Quality

    TT0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  2. To Develop Human Resources Management Capacity in the Public Service

    TT0002, 2014, Capacity Building

  3. To Conduct a Pilot Project for the Development and Introduction of a “Easier Life for Citizens” Index

    TT0003, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  4. To Develop Interactive Media on Government Business Processes and Programs to Better Access Government Services

    TT0004, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  5. To Establish a Contact Centre to Address the Needs of National Scholars (Local and International) of Trinidad and Tobago

    TT0005, 2014, Education

  6. To Adopt a Policy on Data Standards and Classification Frameworks

    TT0006, 2014, Open Data

  7. To Increase the Number of Publicly Accessible Government Datasets in Open Formats

    TT0007, 2014, Open Data

  8. To Conduct a Diagnostic Review of Public Information Needs

    TT0008, 2014, Open Data

  9. 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

  10. To Create a Civil Society Board

    TT0010, 2014, Public Participation

  11. To Audit the Accounts of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs to International Standards

    TT0011, 2014, Audits and Controls

  12. 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

  13. To Include the Mineral Sector (Starting with National Quarries Company Ltd) in the TTEITI Reporting Mechanism

    TT0013, 2014, E-Government