Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Open Government Data Implementation Evaluation

Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Open Government Data Implementation Evaluation

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

The Open Government Data (OGD) movement is a worldwide phenomenon. Governments and local authorities in countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Austria make their data accessible to the public by publishing it on the web [33]. The main reasons for implementing OGD are increasing democratic accountability, enhancing transparency, delivering citizen self-designed public services, and stimulating economic growth [17]. The portal (Site 1) is providing data and information about population, labor, education and research, finance, health, environment or traffic. OGD has become central to our information technology-based society. However, the benefits cited by [17] all rely on the assumption of hard to measure, long term indirect benefits. City administrations, typically fulfilling political will within a four, five or six year perspective between elections, have to rely on tangible results instead of inspiring visions. Therefore the City of Vienna called for an evaluation of its OGD strategy implementation with a focus on value for money. Vienna is a quite decentralized administrative body, headed by the city directorate; regulations issued by the directorate are nonetheless very much dependent on the support by heads of departments. While a governing regulative document exists which is effectively demanding the cooperation of departments, departments retain control over what data they release and in what granularity. Thus, heads of departments have to be persuaded person by person about the benefits of OGD with tangible and relevant arguments.

This paper provides an insight into the practical implementation of an OGD strategy from a research perspective, with a particular focus on the organizational implementation, the public value and recommendations based on surveys including city departments and external OGD stakeholders. Analyzing the City of Vienna's implementation of OGD provides general insights into the implementation of OGD in a strongly decentralized administrative system.

The remaining parts of this paper are structured as follows: Section 2 will give insight into the current foundations of OGD by providing a working definition used throughout this paper, describe the current implementation of OGD in Austria and the effective supporting organizational setting at the federal level. Section 3 presents the guiding research questions, the involved stakeholders of the study and the methodologies used to answer the research questions. Section 4 answers those research questions which can be answered by a survey carried out within the city administration and OGD stakeholders as well as follow-up interviews. Section 5 tries to formulate recommendations concerning further steps of the Viennese OGD strategy, partly derived from survey results and literature review. Section 6 gives a short summary of key findings and a prospect for further research.

2 The State of OGD in Austria

This chapter provides a working definition of OGD, its importance expressed by European policy making and the current state of implementation of OGD in the city of Vienna including the backing organizational framework.

2.1 Definition

Open data as the underlying principle of OGD is defined as "...non-privacy-restricted and non-confidential data which is produced with public money and is made available without any restrictions on its usage and or distribution" [20]. Assuming that the government itself is an open system that interacts and cooperates with its environment, then open data leads to OGD. OGD changes not only the access to data and information but also the boundaries between the public and its governmental institutions [20]. OGD in itself is not only the publication of data, but also include users' feedback so as to improve governmental performance and mechanisms for monitoring.

OGD are non-personal data sets that the general public can access [27]. …

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