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European Commission Project team DISCLAIMER

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Bringing together

Bringing together publishers and users to respond to concrete challenges using Open Data published to the portal helped portal owners demonstrate its relevance. It also showed publishers how their data could be used, provided valuable feedback for portal owners on how the portal infrastructure could continue to be improved, and highlighted data that is not accessible but could be. Connecting and maintaining communities who are interested in and actively using data from an Open Data portal can ensure it continues to have value. 3.3 Build responsiveness to government priority changes into your governance structure While at the outset of an Open Data initiative the Open Data portal might gain significant attention and support, maintaining momentum around data published and updated on the portal can be difficult. Government focus goes elsewhere, and ongoing funding and refreshed governance for the portal can be hard to maintain. Most portal owners sampled for this report (around five years into the life of their portal) described their portals as ‘side projects’, with minimal oversight. A fundamental challenge to the sustainability of Open Data portals is being able to refresh and improve their governance arrangements, as the priorities of their respective governments change. Across the portal owners surveyed, opinions varied as to the most sustainable governance structure for an Open Data portal. The UK national portal owner felt that a centralised model in close proximity to the seat of power (the Prime Minister or equivalent office) was most effective for keeping the pressure on publishers to keep publishing, updating and improving. In Austria and Germany, a federated model is in place that sees Federal States provide financial support for and jointly operate the portal as a cooperative. A number of steering groups support strategy and operations, driving portal maintenance and improvements. This model was received favourably by other portal owners surveyed. Case study: Cooperation Open Government Data Austria Cooperation Open Government Data Austria (Cooperation OGD Austria) offers a federated approach to managing public sector data. Comprising representatives from the federal government, Federal States, cities and municipalities who are responsible for driving forward Open Data, Cooperation OGD Austria functions as a network overseeing and maintaining data.gv.at, with technical and organisational frameworks shaping how that happens. The Open Knowledge Forum Austria, Danube University Krems, the Department for E-Governance and Open3.at act as advisors to Cooperation OGD Austria. 28 Federal States have joined Cooperation OGD Austria since it was originally launched. In 2015, nine Federal States agreed to jointly fund the ongoing maintenance of data.gv.at, creating a cooperative model where they finance and manage the portal together. Portal owners for data.gv.at report this cooperative model makes managing infrastructure costs easier, as government and regional Open Data policies and regulations change, and best practice evolves. 28 Research Gate, 2014, Open Government Data Implementation Evaluation 22

Currently, there are two groups providing strong national coordination of Cooperation OGD Austria and data.gv.at: a steering group, with the Federal Chancellory acting as Chair, and an operative group. This group decides on budget, new partners and exercises strategic decision making as required, and meets at least annually. There is also an expert/operative group which meets more frequently to discuss portal developments, standards and licensing. Each cooperative member nominates a representative to this committee. Strong national coordination is key to making federal approaches work and ensuring accessibility of data (see Figure 4). Figure 4: Data.gv.at - Governance model To date, data.gv.at has published over 2000 datasets from federal, state and local level. They have a strong user-base, with 350 applications and services being created using Open Data from the portal that they know about. 3.4 Create hard levers to set and enforce data quality & metadata standards Without the means to monitor and enforce standards of data publishing quality, discoverability and timeliness, an Open Data portal will not be very useful for re-users. Portal owners in Italy, Romania and Spain indicated that data-quality issues continue to be a barrier to the use of data accessed via their portal, and that no hard levers exist to enforce quality. Resourcing and budget issues prevent some portal owners from monitoring quality (see the Financing section). 23

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