Fast forwarding to the present and FedScoop reports that U.S. President Trump signed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act on Monday evening, and with it the OPEN Government Data Act became law.
"The bill, which requires that all non-sensitive government data be made available in machine-readable formats by default, was incorporated as Title II of former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s FEBP Act and landed on the President’s desk Jan. 2.
Now that the measure is the law of the land, agencies will be called upon to maintain comprehensive data catalogs and designate a nonpolitical chief data officer. The White House Office of Management and Budget will also create a Chief Data Officer Council, comprised of chief data officers from across the government to 'establish Government-wide best practices for the use, protection, dissemination, and generation of data.'
Finally, the language of the legislation calls on the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study to assess whether agencies have complied with the law, and what the value of the information made public as a result of the law is. This will happen within the next three years."
Engadget added to this story today by noting that "The sweeping legislation is aimed at making public data released by the government easier to access via smartphones and other electronic devices. It essentially requires that federal agencies publish any "non-sensitive" info in a "machine-readable" format (meaning in a file type that a phone or laptop can process, rather than a raw data dump)."
Sarah Joy Hays, acting executive director of the Data Coalition, a membership-based trade association that worked on Title II stated that 'The OPEN Government Data Act...sets a presumption that all government information should be open data by default: machine-readable and freely-reusable. Our Coalition celebrates the congressional and Executive Branch allies, as well as the open data advocates, who made this possible.'"