USACM is the Washington policy committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, the professional association that represents computer scientists and computing practitioners. Today, USACM released Policy Recommendations on Open Government. The recommendations offer simple, clear advice to help Congress and the new administration make government initiatives—like the pending recovery bill—transparent to citizens.
The leading recommendation is that data be published in formats that “promote analysis and reuse of the data”—in other words, machine-readable formats that give citizens, rather than only government, the chance to decide how the data will be analyzed and presented. Regular Freedom to Tinker readers may recall that we have made this argument here before: The proposed Recovery.gov should offer machine-readable data, rather than only government-issue “presentations” of it. Ed and I both took part in the working group that drafted these new recommendations, and we’re pleased to be able to share them with you now, while the issue is in the spotlight.
Today’s statement puts the weight of America’s computing professionals behind the push for machine-readable government data. It also sends a clear signal to the Executive Branch, and to Congress, that America’s computing professionals stand ready to help realize the full potential of new information technologies in government.
Here are the recommendations in full: