Digital Government Master Plans

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An Outline of the Government Open Data Promotion Situation in Taiwan

       Transparency and freedom of government information is the first step to promote citizen participation. In order to bring the orientation of Taiwanese governance in line with international developmental trends, Taiwan passed an executive resolution in favor of promoting government open data in November 2012. Through the release of government data, it is hoped to effect cross-institutional, civil cooperation and service innovation, thereby creating a win-win situation for public, government and enterprises.
Framework and Promotional Strategies
      To establish a mechanism for the publication of government information, allow citizens to easily share and use the information, guarantee the public right to knowledge, increase public understanding of, trust in and supervision of public affairs, and promote participation by citizens in democracy, in December 2005, Taiwan implemented the Freedom of Government Information Law, stipulating that policies, measures and other related government information closely connected to the rights and interests of citizens should, in principle, be actively made public. Based on the concept of ‘open data’, the next step forward is to promote ‘freedom of information’, to move from public awareness of their right to ‘know’ government data towards public ‘use’ of the right to government data.
      The framework and promotional strategies for this policy are based on the three following principles, namely ‘open data for public and enterprise use ’, ‘free in principle, charging as the exception’ and ‘ automatic and systematic release and exchange of large volume of data’ supported by the four strategies, ‘proactive release of data, people’s welfare first’, ‘drafting regulations for open data’, ‘ promotion of public use platform’ and ‘demonstration, advocacy, and promotion of services’, and the adoption of a ‘promoted supply’ and ‘propelled use’ supply and demand framework. All the above is designed to promote government open data and inter-organization data flows, intending to increase government administrative efficiency and transparency, satisfy the requirements of the people, raise the quality of life, and strengthen public supervision of government.

 The framework and promotional strategies

Promotional Outline

1. Drafting open data regulations
        The drafting of the “Open Government Data Operating Principle for Agencies of the Executive Yuan”, the “Essential Requirements for Government Open Data Datasets”, and the “Regulations for the Use of the Government Open Data Platform” has provided government agencies with explicit regulations to follow in the promotion and release of open data, has established the principle that user requests should be satisfied free of charge, and has encouraged that users can use the open data to produce value addition and applicatiions.
2. Provision of a public platform
        As a combination of public creativity and active use of government data, in 2013 the National Development Council (NDC) established the Government Open Data Platform which brings together open datasets, providing a one-stop contact for inquiry services.
3. Formation of a government culture which encourages data openness
       Through meetings of the cross-agency Government Open Data Working Group, each ministry, department and agency has been invited to share their open data promotions plans and experience, thereby facilitating benchmarking activities. In addition, to encourage open data flows to become deeply integrated into professional service and business practices, each agency is gradually incorporating open data requirements into their planning and program systems.
4. Deepening civil participation and making the usability the focus in the promotion of open data
       In 2014, the promotion of open data was expanded. Civil groups working with domestic government in a spirit of interactive participation and cooperation to promote open data, such as the Taipei Computer Association and the Open Data Alliance, and with usability as their goal, have conducted research and evaluation exercises on the main topics and projects in the promotion of government open data.
5. Encouraging public innovation
        In co-ordination with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, actively promoting industry use of open data and private creative groups, in the phases from idea to practice, through analytical use of government data sets, gradually producing a number of applications. Based on public demand, an agency may provide data for practical uses and commercial opportunities. For example, it is planned to collaborate with regards to data on YouBike, immediate weather reports and maps to develop the YouBiker service, providing access to instant information about the situations on the ground, thereby indirectly easing traffic congestion.
       Aside from public use, government agencies can use the open data provided by other bureaus for networking and cooperative purposes. For example, Taiwan Tourism Events (Calendar) of the Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Department of Information and Tourism of Taipei City Government both make use of cultural data sets provided by the Ministry of Culture to furnish a fruitful and immediate government service. Movement of open data in Taiwan has displayed its practical advantages in both public and private sectors.

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