recommended reading

Survey Identifies Old IT Culprits As Top Barriers To More Open Government

Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock.com

Unlocking government data is no easy feat, and according to recent survey data gathered by the Government Business Council, the chief obstacles to a more open government are familiar problems in the IT world.

The survey tallied responses from 75 civilian and military IT leaders (GS-14 or higher), and respondents identified concerns over data sensitivity (68 percent), a perceived lack of funding (62.5 percent), privacy (61.1 percent), and unstandardized data (59.7 percent) as the chief challenges to more open data in government.

GBC conducted the survey in part to ascertain how the government would act to Congress’ passing of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which mandates the executive branch publish U.S. federal spending in open, standardized datasets readily available to the public. The DATA Act gives agencies more incentive to push appropriate data into the public eye, and it was preceded by a May 2013 executive order that spurred agency efforts to lay the groundwork for making open, machine-readable datasets the default in government.

The GBC survey suggests agencies may have made strides on some of the steps outlined on the Open Government Dashboard, and less on others one would think should have come first.

For example, 40 percent of respondents said their agencies or departments have redacted personally identifiable information, and 36 percent reported identifying high-value datasets for public dissemination. However, fewer respondents (25 percent) said their agency was devising an open data strategy consistent with Open Government Directive criteria.

The argument could be made that it makes more sense to put strategy ahead of security. By crafting an open data framework that addresses privacy concerns, as well as integral efforts such as building application programming interfaces – which only 20 percent of respondent agencies had done – instead of tackling security on its own, agencies could device an all-encompassing approach to open data.

There is also a discrepancy between the government’s progress as it is displayed on the dashboard – the color green promulgates it, signifying agencies’ plans to meet expectations – and how survey respondents themselves reported agency advances.

Regardless, respondents reported significant benefits within their agencies from the data they have released. Sixty-one percent of respondents saw a “greater awareness of department data’ and ‘greater data standardization,’” and 59 percent reported experiencing “enhanced interagency information sharing.”

The survey will be discussed in an editorial viewcast June 12 with Dr. Taha Kass-Hout, chief health informatics officer for the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of the Chief Health Informatics Officer. For more information or to sign up for the viewcast, visit the registration page.

(Image via Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.