Making Access to Government Data Work



The EU Directive on Re-use of Public Sector Information of 2013 (the PSI Directive) is a key instrument for open data policies at all levels of government in Member States. It sets out a general framework for the conditions governing the right to re-use information resources held by public sector bodies. It includes provisions on non-discrimination, transparent licensing and the like. However, what the PSI Directive does not do is give businesses, civil society or citizens an actual claim to access. Access is of course a prerequisite to (re)use. It is largely a matter for individual Member States to regulate what information is in the public record. This article explores what the options for the EC are to promote alignment of rights to information and re-use policy. It also flags a number of important data protection problems that have not been given serious enough consideration, but have the potential to paralyze open data policies. 

Access to Government Information; Directive 2003/98/EC; Re-use of Public Sector Information; Open Data; Data Protection; Freedom of Information

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