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New regulation expands access to government info

Author:gzstcj  From:CHINA DAILY Time:2017-05-22 Browse:  Size: Big Middle Small

Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, has put forward the country's first regulation on access to and sharing of government data.

The legalization of open data sharing is expected to accelerate the digital economy, as well as help governments to provide better services for the people. It will also encourage innovation, according to a report in People's Daily.

Since the data sharing platform of Guiyang's government was launched on Jan 18, millions of pieces of data, covering 51 government bodies, have been made open to the public.

"Without a large quantity of data, developing the big data industry will be nothing but a vague slogan," said Zhou Wenjie, deputy head of Guiyang's big data management and development commission. "Currently, the different levels of government have vast stores of data information. But access to them is very limited, causing a waste of resources.

"More importantly, it was not clear who would be responsible for government data and there was no regulation or law to follow. Therefore, those who have the data dare not share it, and those who use the data do not take responsibility, while the supervision departments have no idea what to do," Zhou added. "Furthermore, some departments will not share data because of their own interest."

Against such a background, some government departments in Guiyang have already experimented with building open access to its data, and they needed a regulation to comply with.

Li Zhong, head of the standing committee of Guiyang's provincial people's congress, said: "The government needs laws and orders for open data sharing, and they cannot operate on their own. The standing committee has acted proactively. The new regulation has clearly stated limits and boundaries, ridding government departments of confusion and breaking patterns of self-protection."

The regulation has defined the concept of sharing and open access to data. Sharing means different sectors of government can share the information, while open access means the data will be open to society.

"The value of data can only be activated when it is open and shared, which will lay the foundation for the industry," Zhou said.

However, sharing data is only the base. The key is data application, according to Chen Gang, Guiyang's Party chief and a member of Guizhou CPC standing committee.

"To collect new sources of data and expand new industry chains, Guiyang will open up sectors of data collection, storage, cleaning and circulation," he said. "The city will go on exploring data application scenarios in the fields of government administration, business and livelihood, and open a new road in the big data industry's development."

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