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Opening Government: Modeling the Informational Relationships between Government and Society

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NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Contact: Alison Heaphy
(518) 442-4598

Center for Technology in Government at UAlbany Publishes New Findings on Opening Government

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany/SUNY has released a new report, The Dynamics of Opening Government Data. The report is based on findings from a year-long research project, funded by SAP, to help organizations better understand the value generated through opening government.

Report Cover
The paper is being released today in conjunction with an SAP-hosted roundtable in New York City, featuring the City of Boston, the City of Edmonton, and thought leaders from CTG and The Brookings Institution—discussing what it means to be a Best Run City.

The report features cases from two active open data initiatives, featuring street construction projects in the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, and the restaurant inspection process in New York City. Based on these cases, the report provides practical advice for government managers planning or actively engaged in opening government data initiatives.

“If public leaders want to pursue opening government, particularly through the use of new technologies and information-driven activities, they need a good understanding of how the process works,” said Natalie Helbig, senior program associate at CTG and lead author of the report. “Our findings present a holistic opening government data approach to help organizations understand and evaluate the impact of different technology, management, and policy choices before they are implemented.”

The Dynamics of Opening Government Data offers the following practical considerations for government managers:
  • Release government data that are relevant to both agency performance and the public interest.
  • Invest in strategies to estimate how different stakeholders will use the data.
  • Devise data management practices that improve context in order to ‘future-proof’ data resources.
  • Think about sustainability for long term value creation.
"What we learned from the combination of CTG's research and public sector use cases is that all stakeholders and their patterns of interaction will evolve over time and require new practices, policies and governance arrangements. We also learned that this combined with the emergence of new technology capability enablers will lead to faster innovation and the accomplishment of objectives never considered possible." said Russ LeFevre, Vice President, Industry Marketing, SAP. "We believe this research will provide our government customers around the world with a better understanding of the impact opening government, particularly opening data, and other government transformational efforts, can have on their organizations."

The next steps in CTG’s research and practice approach will be to use the initial results to guide new research in the areas of government information polities and modeling in support of opening government. In addition we will use our approach to develop practical tools to help governments continue opening government data and other information-intensive initiatives.

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The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. For more information visit www.ctg.albany.edu.

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.

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