Dutch government organisation…

Dutch government organisations not ready for open data requests

Published on: 03/05/2016
News

Dutch government organisations are generally unable to process requests under the new 'Law for re-use of government information' in a timely and correct manner. According to inventories made by the Open State Foundation and Open Archives, government at all levels took months to decide on the requests, had problems providing the information in an open and machine-readable format, and failed to forward requests that should be handled by other organisations.

Months

Since last fall, Open State Foundation and Open Archives have sent dozens of requests for the re-use of government information to ministries, municipalities, provinces and archives. According to the Open State Foundation, on average it takes governments and public institutions at least two months before they make a decision upon the request. Almost all governments and institutions that were asked for information used the option to adjourn. It took even longer to finally get access to the requested information in an open and machine-readable format.

Requests of Open Archives to archives had similar outcomes as those sent to ministries and provinces. After two months, only 13 percent of the notified institutions complied with the request. None of the organisations actually refused to comply with the request, however; they find it hard to export the requested information from their systems.

Active government transparency

This inventory shows that public sector institutions are still very unfamiliar with the re-use bill and do not yet know how to implement it, the civil society representatives conclude. A lot of internal processes that could help with handling the re-use requests were not optimised. The implementation of the bill is an important step, but real change can only be expected with new and modern legislation on active government transparency.