Poland should relax its rules on the reuse of public sector information, recommends the ePaństwo Foundation, a Polish NGO advocating open government. “Provisions that lack clear justification are hindering the reuse of government data”, the NGO concludes in its report on the transposing of European legislation on reuse of public sector information (the PSI Directive), published in early July.
In its report following one year of Poland’s transposing of the PSI Directive, the NGO recommends that the government should organise competitions to promote specific cases of open data reuse. To fully exploit the potential of public sector open data, the government should rethink its approach, the organisation says. “Poland’s reuse act shows that the mere implementation of EU legislation does not guarantee the achievement of the objectives.”
In the study the NGO looks at the availability of open government data, by contacting 40 government organisations (including 24 cultural institutions). The NGO concludes that the Polish PSI act of 25 February 2016 “has not revolutionised the use of public data”. The ePaństwo Foundation says this is because of a lack of knowledge on how to correctly apply the country’s PSI rules; for example in the case of cultural organisations, reusers fear breaking copyright rules. Conversely, the NGO warns that the potential for reuse of public data could be overestimated.
According to the NGO, the main shortcoming of the Act is a lack of monitoring. Earlier rules required public sector organisations to inform the Prime Minister if they had received more than 1000 requests for data. This rule was scrapped last year. The ePaństwo Foundation suggest that the government should instead track open data reuse by asking for quarterly reports.
An English summary of the report by the ePaństwo Foundation will be published in August.