US Open Government Data Act

US Open Government Data
Law & History

The U.S. Open Government Data Act is a legislation that was passed to promote transparency, accountability, and accessibility of government data in the United States. It was signed into law on January 14, 2019, as part of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act.
The act requires federal agencies to make their data assets available to the public in a machine-readable format that is easily accessible and usable. It emphasizes the importance of data-driven decision-making and encourages the use of data for evidence-based policymaking, research, and innovation.
Key provisions of the U.S. Open Government Data Act include:
  • Open Data Standards: The act requires federal agencies to establish and maintain comprehensive data inventories, ensuring that data is accurate, up-to-date, and publicly accessible.
  • Data Catalogs: Agencies are mandated to create and maintain a publicly available catalog of their data assets. This catalog serves as a centralized resource where individuals and organizations can discover and access government data.
  • Chief Data Officers: The act establishes the role of Chief Data Officers (CDOs) within federal agencies. CDOs are responsible for overseeing data management, ensuring data quality, and promoting data sharing and transparency.
  • Privacy and Security: The act emphasizes the importance of safeguarding personal privacy and ensuring the security of sensitive government data. It requires agencies to implement measures to protect against unauthorized access or disclosure of data.
  • Collaboration and Engagement: The act encourages collaboration between agencies, academia, industry, and the public to foster innovation and maximize the value of government data. It promotes partnerships and initiatives to enhance data sharing and interoperability.
Overall, the U.S. Open Government Data Act aims to establish a culture of openness and data-driven decision-making within the federal government. By making government data more accessible and usable, it seeks to empower individuals, businesses, researchers, and policymakers to leverage data for the benefit of society, innovation and informed decision-making.

Timeline of Data.Gov

January 21, 2009

Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

May 21, 2009

GSA launches

December 8, 2009

Open Government Directive requiring agencies to post high-value datasets on

June 11, 2012

U.S. and India launch Open Government Platform (open source package for government open data sites)

May 9, 2013

Open Data Executive Order

May 9, 2013

Open Data Policy

2014 team begins working in the open on GitHub


Launch of Project Open Data on GitHub

December 10, 2016

Senate passes OPEN Government Data Act

December 21, 2018

OPEN Government Data Act, incorporated into Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act passes both Houses of Congress


January 14, 2019

OPEN Government Data Act signed into law ( required by statute)

July 2019

Launch of

October 2020

Improved launched (metadata management tool)

February 2021 catalog running updated CKAN

August 2022

Completion of migration of to infrastructure

March 30, 2023

Launch of redesigned home page


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