Open Government Data Question 1

OpenGovernment Data

Question1

E-governmentis a term used to refer to the use of information technologysolutions. Specifically it refers to the use of solutions bygovernment agencies, such as the Internet, mobile computing, and thewide area network. The primary aim of adopting the internet solutionsis to enhance their relationships with other government agencies andthe public (Dutil, Howard, Langford, &amp Roy 2007, 77). Incontrast, open data government refers to the ability of thegovernment and its institutions to facilitate freely available data.The data from open data government is readily available, freely used,reused, and transferable by anyone. It specifically means data thatis accessible by everyone (Andersen &amp Kenpen 2003, p. 77).

Second,e-government is the ability of the government agencies to useInformation technology solutions to handle their big data. Consequently, the agencies benefit from the advanced computingtechniques. The agencies can handle significant volumes of data moreefficiently and derive meaning from the data (Arnstein 1969, p. 217).

Incontrast, open data is concerned with the use related to theaccessibility of information by the intended recipients. The usersinclude people, companies, and organizations. They can use theinformation to create new ventures. They also get the advantage toutilize open data opportunities to analyze patterns and trends(Andersen, Henriksen, Secher, &amp Medaglia 2007, p. 30).Consequently, the users make informed decisions that can help solvecomplex situations. Open data calls for the use of licenses to enablethe users to duplicate and reuse the information. The idea ofopenness further implies that the data should be free or provided atthe minimum cost (Davies, Blackstock, &amp Rauschmayer 2005, p. 47).

Opendata makes e-government democratic. It is used in the context ofe-government. E-government is the process of producing data to bereleased to the citizens. Open data is the process of distributingthe information to the citizens. The withholding of governmentinformation by the selected few disempowers the majority and becomescontroversial (Mahrer, &amp Krimmer 2005, p. 28). Such informationincludes that from security agents and the government’s controls onthe market that should be readily available to all the citizens. Opendata bridges the necessity by availing information to all thecitizens (Halvorsen 2003, p.536).

E-governmentdeals with the enormous amount of information. The data hassignificant enough to make an impact. It is huge since the feedbackemanates from the various government branches as they relate to thepublic. The Idea in E-government is comprehensiveness of informationthat makes sense to everyone (Astleithner &amp Hamedinger 2003, 54).It is produced in big quantities to meet the various varying needs ofthe citizens and market participants. The more the participants getsatisfied by e-government, the more efficient it is said to be(Klijn, Edelenbos, &amp Steijn 2010, p. 194).

Incontrast, open data does not need to be big to make an impact. Thevarying needs of the citizens make their data requirements to beminimal. Various individuals require information from the localgovernment, budgeting, health care or information to gauge publicservices (Pateman 1970, p.67).

E-governmentemanates from the government. The primary factor facilitates thegovernment to deal with informational deficiencies among the public.In contrast, open data does not necessarily emanate from thegovernment. It may be from scientists or genomics that shareinformation about their findings to the public. Other sources ofinformation may include nationwide social market data on the publicopinion and market trends (Pate man, 1970, p.117)

.Opendata supplements e-government. The creation of e-government calls forthe collection of private information by the government. The datasetsbecome important in the creation of economic benefits to thegovernment and the people. Consequently, the e government creates asignificant problem of security of the information. The data issubject to use in ways that the citizens may not warrant. Open dataprovide a solution for the government to control the security ofe-government (Dutil et al. 2007, p. 87 ). It enables the control ofdata that subsequently increases the safety of the information. Theknowledge by the citizen about the type of information collectedabout them enhances the security of the information. Open data makese-government become dominant through the ability to control(Halvorsen 2003, p.538).

Opendata precedes e-government. Open data is the primary reason for thecreation of e-government. A government that is dedicated to ane-government agenda takes an open data initiative as the first step.Open data creates a basis for the creation of fully disclosedgovernment information portals (Astleithner &amp Hamedinger 2003,54). Consequently, public information is used to evaluatee-government. The products of open data measure the result ofe-government. They include such results as some jobs, economicgrowth, and innovation. The results provide a justification for thegovernment investment in e-government (Davies et al. 2005, p.605).

Question2

Thecurrent economic times create various challenges to governments. Consequently, the government’s data needs to be open to provide thevarious required information.

First,the data needs to be open to enhance the creation of jobs by thegovernment and improve the hiring from the employees pool by theprivate sector. In Spain, a survey on employment opportunitiescreated by open data revealed the potential benefits. It indicatedthat companies that sell governments began data resources employ4,000 people (Andersen et al. 2007, p. 33). Besides, they generate330,550 Euros per year. That revenue and employment are directlyrelated to the use and reuse of open data. Similar, in Germany, freedata from the geospatial sector is estimated 1.4 billion Euros by theyear 2011. The figure represented an increase of 50% from the year2,000 (Dutil et al. 2007, p.89)

.A similar case is described by Netherlands. The open data sector isassociated with 15,000 full-time employees by the beginning of theyear 2008. Besides, in Australia, the open data sector is associatedwith 31,400 employees (Bertot 2010, p. 267). Consequently, open datacreates a direct and short-term economic benefit through jobcreation. It is estimated that the open data demand shall besignificant by the year 2020. It will account for approximately 4.4million jobs in the world. The opportunity creates the development ofskills as a strategic area for the various governments. Consequently,the developed skills provide an answer to the growing skills need tothe business community (Fung 2006, p.67).

Second,Open data derives the economic value from the government by reducingTransactional costs and redundant expenditures. The cost savingsemanate from saving the time of government officials. Governmentofficials spend the significant amount of time answering publicquestions that emanate from legislations. The provision ofinformation online to citizens inform of searchable indexes reducesthe cost of servicing (Few et al. 2007, p. 48). In Bristol, thecity council, service transactions were previously answered inperson, after the application of open data catalogs, it reduced thecosts for a typical transaction by more than 15 times. Similar, inthe United States city of Francisco, open data access reduced thecosts by USD 1million in the year 2012 (Astleithner &amp Hamedinger2003, 59). The public access to real-time information resulted infewer service calls by 21%. The openness of the public sector callsfor accountability and further assists to reduce the publicexpenditure of public bodies (Few et al. 2007, p. 53). In CaliforniaUSA, it cost the government USD 21,000 to implement the open datasystem. The system enabled the public to identify unnecessaryexpenditure that further saved the government USD 20 million. Thesavings were after a majority of the citizen’s visited the site andnoticed that much of the expenditure targeted on the motor vehiclewas unnecessary (Fung 2006, p.70).

Third,open data increases the service delivery efficiency through relateddata. The integration of data by the public bodies createscollaboration between the public officials and the governmentofficials. Consequently, it improves service efficiency. The UKhospitals applied open data and began publishing infection rates ofthe hospitals on the websites. The publications about the worst hithospitals by infection encouraged best practices among the hospitals(Font &amp Navarro 2013, 617). Consequently, it led to the reductionof infections from an annual 5,000patients to 1,200. The initiativeis associated with saving 234 million Euros. The possible sharing ofinformation has resulted in significant changes in the hospitalsoutcome data for surgeons since the year 2004. Consequently, themortality rates have declined by 22%. It is attributable to theincreased efficiency to spot the pain points and improve cardiachealthcare services (Halvorsen 2003, p.540).

Fourth,open data enables the increase in private business activity. Itallows the creation of new firms, services and products. Countriessuch as the U.S and Spain have witnessed the increased activity fromthe open data initiative (Panagiotopoulos, Sams, Elliman, &ampFitzgerald 2010). First, open data encourages the creation of newfirms. It drives the growth of companies that reuse the governmentinformation in innovative ways. In Spain, the number of enterprisesfocused solely on the infomediary sector averages to 150. Second, itenables the creation of new products and services. The small andmedium enterprises develop new products such as global partitioningsystems and software applications that increase the number of jobs.In Finland, research has indicated that firms that re-use governmentrelated geographical data grew by 15% more per annum (Font &ampNavarro 2013, 620). Third, open data leads to improved goods andservices that result from competition. Open data provides proprietaryand public sector information. Consequently, entrepreneurs canidentify gaps in the provision of products. It leads to more customersatisfaction derived from a range of products due to increasedcompetition. Specifically, information-providing services developfrom the open data resource. There is a creation of revenue from theprovision of information (Joseph 2012, p. 10).

Fifth,open data increases tax income from the commercial usage of opendata. The governments can use open data to generate long-term taxrevenues. The process involves the application of direct andindirect tax on open data across the economy. The European economyhas realized net aggregate direct and indirect benefits amounting to140 billion Euros. The increase in tax serves to increase governmentincome (Musso, Weare, &amp Hale 2000, p. 8).

Question3

First,the scoring model by global data index, unlike the other models,contains well-defined e-government openness principles. Moreover, itprovides a practical determination of the extent of fulfillment ofopen government`s primary goals. Specifically, it provides thevarious levels of openness such as the cradle, fundamental openness,average transparency, openness and high openness. The cradle is theleast sophisticated level of transparency while high openness is themost sophisticated. The levels of the model provide guidelines as thegovernment progresses into high transparency (Nam 2012, p.17).

Second,it is more appropriate for the exploration of e-government opennessboundaries. Specifically, the model separates the factorsattributable to the government openness and those due to open data.Due to its comprehensive nature, the scoring model is sufficient tobe used solely without further additions from other models (Portney2005, p.579).

Third,the model works around the five top factors of the key features tothe open government. They include the primary dataset, openness,transparency, participation, and collaboration. The exclusivity andnonoverlapping nature of the factors enable the model to be used forevaluation purposes (Feeney, &ampWelch 2012, p. 815). The relatedefficiency relies solely on the data features or descriptions thatare obtained directly from the open data portal. It is efficient atestimating government openness, data online without humanintervention. The measures are calculated based on the availableresources, and they are easy to interpret. The individual factors arethen added to obtain the final index. The final index contains avalue of 0-1 (Reddel 2002, p.57).

Question4

Theappropriateness of any assessment model depends on the use to whichthe model is applied. Specifically, there are other various measuresof government data openness. The different interests of a measurementinclude benching mark the transparency of data between the differentareas for comparison purposes. Government openness involves theevaluation of e-government processes for a given government.E-government is the use of information and communication technologiesin an administration of public offices (Feeney, &ampWelch 2012, p.819). The measurement of e-government aims at evaluating the level towhich the government has applied the technologies to transform itsrelationship with the citizens. The evaluation also checks on thelevel to which the solutions enhance the communication of citizenswith the government’s officials. The various manifestations ofe-government include e-marketing, e-procurement, e-management,e-services e provision, and e-democracy (Portney 2013, p.58).

Firstis the quality aspect of open data proposed by Ren and Glassman(2012, p.33). The model calls for the evaluation of quality aspects.They include accessibility and availability, understandability,completeness, timeliness, error free, and security. The modelanalyzes adamant factors of quality such as error free and safety.Among its disadvantages involves its one-sided nature. The modelfully focuses on the quality perspective of data openness. The modelonly provides a general view of the quality characteristics. It isnot wide enough to provide a comprehensive analysis of datatransparency (Lowndes, Pratchett, Stoker 2001, p. 207). Therefore,the model only serves as a fundamental guideline for furtherdevelopment. It also has a weakness in repetition error free issynonymous to completeness, whereas accessibility issues overlap withsecurity. The aspects make it hard to conduct a thorough analysis(Reddel 2002, p. 61).

Secondis the open government maturity model Lee and Kwak (2011, p.56). Thedesign calls for the evaluation of accuracy, consistency, timeliness,and completeness. Although the model provides definite evaluatorfactors, it is too shallow. The government data is broad in nature tobe covered comprehensively by four evaluating factors only.Furthermore, the models assume other important determinants such asmachine processable, pricing and reuse conditions (Portney &ampBerry 2010, p. 121).

Thirdis the open government data principles open government working group(2007, p.68) the model calls for the evaluation of completeness,primary, timeliness, accessibility, machine processable,nondiscriminatory, nonproprietary and license free characteristics.The model is comprehensive and covers most of the key indicators suchas non-discriminatory, license free and machine procesable. However,the model intermixes the factors for open data and principles of opengovernment (Nam 2012, p.18).

Thefourth method is open government data principles Tauberer (2012,p.56). It calls for the evaluation of free access to data, primary,timely, accessible, machine processable, nondiscriminatory, andnonproprietary, license free, permanent, promote analysis, safe fileformats, provenance and trusts, public input, public review,integrity and coordination, prioritization, and availability (Norris&amp Reddick 2013, p. 169). Tauberers model is comprehensive,however, just like the example from an open government-working groupit provides an overlap between open data and open government.Besides, the model fails to consider data linkage that plays animportant part in website maneuvering by the visitor (Joseph 2012, p.12).

Thereis the four stage model of open data availability that Osimo (2008,p.56). The model is similar to the five-star types of open dataBerne’s Lee (2010, p.78). The design calls for a star rating systemthat is used to evaluate the level of data availability. The modelalso recognizes the need for interlinked data that is used for thebroad application. According to the model, one star is given wheneverthe website has linkages with an open license. Two stars are givenwhen the site has machine readable and structured data (Kolsaker, &ampLee-Kelley 2008, 726). Three stars are awarded whenever data ispublished in non-proprietary standards. Four stars are provided whenthe site is compliant with the previous characteristics and usessemantic web standards to identify text. Finally, five stars areawarded to sites that meet the previous requirements and links toother people`s data in addition to providing the context (Irvin, &ampStansbury 2004, p. 56). However, the model faces several shortcomingssuch as it lacks to evaluate the need for metadata about the datasetson the website. They also refer to one open data feature onavailability. Although it is one of the key indicators of openness,it is not the only one (Hui &amp Hayllar 2010, p.120).

Inconclusion, the various above models have touched on the differentareas of evaluating government data openness. However, the modelsfail to provide a comprehensive evaluation. The key shortcomings ofthe above methods include the overlapping nature of the key features.Some models also adequately describe some features but fail todescribe other characteristics that are equally important todetermine the openness of the website (Kolsaker, &amp Lee-Kelley2008, 724). Consequently, the models cannot be used individually toconduct an evaluation of government openness on a website. However,the models serve as directions and important foundations for thedevelopment of an appropriate evaluation model. According toVeljkovic et al. (2011), a benchmark model aims at fully exploringthe openness of the boundaries. It also evaluates the extent of thefulfillment of the government’s goals of transparency. Five conceptfeatures reflect the primary openness objectives. They includetransparency, openness, an underlying dataset, collaboration, and participation. The measures should be calculated based on theavailable resources. The score for each test is then added to arriveat the overall benchmark result for government openness index andmaturity (Fung 2006, p.72).

Question5

Theincreased need for citizen awareness and engagement stems out fromthe demand for government to be more responsive to citizen needs.Consequently, the various states have increased the public sectormodernization programs. They include the introduction of fundamentalchanges to the practice of the democratic practices. The primary aimis to create new opportunities that increase democratic participationamong the public. The introduction of citizen participation is aneffort to harmonize the leaders and the citizens (Portney 2013, p.5).

Citizenawareness refers to the existent knowledge about the existence ofopen government data systems. In contrast, citizen engagementdescribes the involvement of the public in the conduct ofe-government and open data systems. They include systems likee-procurement, e-management, and e-voting systems. It is imperativeto ensure maximum citizen engagement in the conduct of opengovernment data (OECD 2003, p.57).

Thereare various reasons behind the call to improve citizen participation.First, they tend to participate in the utilization and usage of theirfunds by the government. The citizens can decide, through onlineportals, on the most appropriate course of action by the government(Mergel 2013, p. 125). Through participation, the public canpersonally scrutinize the accountability of the government in themanagement of public funds. They do this by evaluating theexpenditure of the government to identify any possibleinconsistencies that may require further explanation (OECD 2003,p.59).

Second,citizen engagement is positively correlated with the trust in thegovernment. It promotes government legitimacy and responsiveness. Theconfidence in government further contributes to the satisfaction ofthe citizen on how the government utilizes public funds.Consequently, it creates harmony between the leaders and thecitizens. However, authentic public participation is rare to find(Irvin, &amp Stansbury 2004, p. 58). The residents criticize theirleaders for promoting their personal agendas. The leaders also appearas unwilling to share power. A primary reason behind poor citizenparticipation is the lack of administrator’s financial resourcesnecessary for meaningful citizen participation (Mergel 2013, p.56).

Third,citizen participation serves as an important policy tool. Theresidents provide their arguments, and consequently, they generatethe rules and the regulations of a given government operation. Thesystems developed to serve as the basis for the relationship betweenthe administration and the public. The lower participation of thepublic has been attributed many times to the effectiveness of thetools offered to enhance their participation (Klijn et al. 2010,p.197).

Fourth,the increase of improved models using ICT solutions serves as adecisive factor calling for the involvement of the public. Forexample, the rise of the internet has served as a driving factortowards citizen’s participation. This is mainly due to its abilityto serve as a substantial medium for educating informing andempowering citizens. The Aspect of e-participation aims to enhanceactive citizenship to promote fair and efficient societies andgovernments. Citizen engagement can take many forms such asinformation provision, consulting, and active participation (Hui, &ampHayllar 2010, p.127).

Citizen’sinvolvement and engagement are encouraged since it leads to bettergovernance. Moreover, the involvement leads to reduced costs ofrunning the government. The citizen’s participation in submittingproposals and complaints is a fundamental way of participation. Itremains the most conventional means from the past. Currently, thereare various mediums such as wikis, chat rooms, voting systems, blogsand the standard website and email services (IDEA 2001). The mediumshave facilitated the ability to create citizen arguments that lead todebates. The further development of mobile technology combined withthe social media networks such as web 2.0 tools provides excitingopportunities for e-government developments. They provideopportunities for co-production, transparency, accountability andreal-time information updates.

Itis expected that with an active strategic planning process, effectivemanagement, and real expectations, social computing provide the drivefor the next stage of e-government. They also contribute todevelopment and interactivity (Lowndes, Pratchett, Stoker 2001, p.209). The benefits are increased once the government’s visibilityis increased through the sharing of information. Besides, thereshould be increased and devolved decision making that includes thevoice of the citizens (Few, Brown, &ampTompkins 2007, p.57).

Citizenparticipation is referred to as a critical process of engaging inpolitical legitimacy. The e-participation of the citizens providesroom for the creation of new models of governance. They also assistin the integration of civil groups with bureaucracies. The Obama’sadministration is linked to the Open Government agenda while the EUmember states have ratified the Malmo Declaration on the jointe-government 2.0 (IDEA 2001). The various current initiatives aim atprioritizing citizen participation in government politics. Forexample, online petitions have become important compared to theirtraditional offline petitioning systems (Bertot et al. 2010, p.265).

Thecitizens and the organizers are the main participants of the of theopen data systems. Consequently, it is important to evaluate theirawareness of the availability of the systems. Besides, it isimperative to assess their belief on the appropriateness of the useof the various regimes. Their expressed attitude on the relevance ofthe systems further indicates their willingness to participate (Mussoet al. 2000, p. 15. The willingness of the citizens to participatecan be used by leaders to evaluate the level of trust the citizenshave in the government. Previous studies on the indicators of trustfound that citizens that confidence in the government are willing andcapable of spending their time and resources on e-government. Incontrast, reduced citizen participation is a significant indicationthat the citizens do not trust in the leadership (Arnstein 1969, p.219).

Topromote and increase e-participation among the citizens, previousresearch provided interesting findings. The rate of citizenparticipation is highly correlated with the use and value perceptionsof the citizens. There are innovative ways of getting the citizens tobe involved in e-government. A major approach is to providehigh-quality information as well as online applications and services.For example, the government can provide free internet access tosupport staff located in libraries and public places (IDEA 2001). Thegovernment should also provide publicity to e-government activitiesto increase the awareness among the public. Previous studies haverelated citizens with beliefs on the virtues of the benefits theyaccrue from participation in e-government. By contrast, thegovernment managers pose a negative attitude towards the utilizationof citizen participation beyond the improvement of their image andtransparency. The negative attitude may provide an explanation forthe low-level development in the consultation and cooperativeinitiatives among the public sector entities. It is hence importantto sensitize both the citizens and the managers on the importance ofcitizen participation (Pateman 1970, p.67).

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