Report Endnotes

Playbook For Opening Federal Government Data

How Executive & Legislative Leadership Can Help

  1. This figure is sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See CDC. “COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review.” COVID-19. Last modified June 4, 2021.
  2. Honey, Kristen, Amy Gleason and Kevin Duvall. “COVID-19 is Complex, as is COVID-19 Open Data” Meta - Blog. December 14, 2020.
  3. GAO. Open Data: Agencies Need Guidance to Establish Comprehensive Data Inventories; Information on Their Progress is Limited, March 18, 2021.
  4. Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, H.R. 4174, 115, (2019),
  5. Open Data encourages greater citizen participation in government by providing citizens with the raw materials they need to engage their governments and contribute to the improvement of public services. Open data is necessary but not always sufficient for citizen participation as in many cases data literacy is necessary. See generally “Starting an Open Data Initiative.” The World Bank, May 13, 2021.
  6. “Rebooting Public Service Delivery: How Can Open Government Data Help to Drive Innovation?” OECD Comparative Study. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Accessed May 27, 2021.
  7. In 2014, GovLab, based in New York University's (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, launched Open Data 500 which is the first comprehensive study of U.S. based companies that use open government data as a key business resource. See “How to Make Open Government Data More Relevant, Accessible, and Actionable?” Open Data 500 Global Network. The Governance Lab. Accessed May 27, 2021. Also, a McKinsey report suggests that seven sectors alone could generate more than $3 trillion a year in additional value as a result of open data. See Manyika, James, Michael Chui, Diana Farrell, Steve Van Kuiken, Peter Groves, and Elizabeth Almasi Doshi. “Open Data: Unlocking Innovation and Performance with Liquid Information.” McKinsey Global Institute. McKinsey & Company, October 1, 2013.
  8. Open data used by researchers can lead to groundbreaking research and insights that inform decision-making. However, there are instances where closed or classified data can also inform effective decision-making (i.e., national security data). See generally “Open Government.”, September 18, 2019.
  9. Eggers, William D. “New Orleans’ Fight with Blight Started with Data.” Analytics. Government Technology, October 25, 2017.
  10. Rumsey, Matt, and Temilola Afolabi. “Open Data: A Critical Tool for the New Administration's COVID-19 Strategy.” Tech. FedScoop, December 16, 2020.
  11. Figure 1 Timeline for Open Government Data Related Statutes and Guidance since 2018.
  12. FDS. 2020 Action Plan Progress, Supplementary Information, Milestone 2.1 Publish Agency Data Governance materials, Accessed June 21, 2021.
  13. Ibid.
  14. FDS. 2020 Action Plan Progress, Supplementary Information, Milestone 6.1 Update Comprehensive DataInventories, Accessed June 21, 2021.
  15. This claim is also made in the NSCAI’s Final Report. See “Blueprints for Action.” Final Report. National SecurityCommission on Artificial Intelligence, n.d.
  16. Such challenges are discussed infra.
  17. See generally West, Darrell M., and John R. Allen. “How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the World.” Brookings, April 24, 2018.
  18. This desire was communicated in a letter sent to Dr. Lander from President Biden. See Biden Jr., Joseph R. “A Letter to Dr. Eric S. Lander the President’s Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and TechnologyPolicy.” The White House, Briefing Room, Press Releases, January 15, 2021.
  19. Agencies engaged include CISA, DHS, DOD, DOJ, DOS, DOT, FBI, FAA, GAO, GSA, HHS, IRS, NASA, NCO, NIH, NIST, OSTP, VA, and more. All employees participated in their personal capacity. This document was prepared independently from any political or governmental entity. While the document generally reflects the observations, insights and recommendations of the employees, it is not the case that every employee will agree with everything expressed herein.
  20. “Future of Open Data: Maximizing the Impact of the OPEN Government Data Act.” Data Foundation & Deloitte, n.d.
  21. “Government-to-University Initiative.” The Volcker Alliance, November 17, 2020.
  22. Eggers, William D., John O'Leary, and Amrita Datar. “The Future of Work in Government - Navigating a ShiftingTalent Landscape.” Deloitte Insights. Deloitte. Accessed May 27, 2021.
  23. See generally Moore, Jack. “Lack of Funding Means Several Agencies Won't Be Getting Digital Service Teams After All.” Nextgov, June 13, 2016. Also, see generally, U.S. Government Accountability Office. Assessing Results and Coordinating with Chief Information Officers Can Improve Delivery of Federal Projects, June 10, 2016.
  24. An occupational series is the Federal Government’s numbered system for categorizing, defining, and grouping similar jobs. See United States Office of Personnel Management “Introduction to the Position Classification Standards,” Policy, Data, Oversight (August 2009)
  25. Ibid 11.
  26. Examples of authorities that can facilitate tour of duty stints include the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), Direct Hire Authority (with permission from OPM), Schedule A hiring authority for fellowships and industry exchange programs (Schedule A(r)), and Expert and Consultant Pay. See generally “Hiring Authorities and Mechanisms.” A Playbook for the Department of Defense. The Center for Digital Talent, Schmidt Futures. Accessed June 30, 2021.
  27. A few Tour of Duty Case Studies illustrating non-comprehensive snapshots of successful impact agencies, fellowship programs, small teams, and individuals can have, can be found in Appendix A of IDA Report. See Peña, Vanessa, and Chelsea A. Strokes. “Tour of Duty Hiring in the Federal Government.” Science & Technology PolicyInstitute. The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), n.d.
  28. Ibid 1.
  29. Ibid 1.
  30. Mechanisms for encouragement include writing letters, holding hearings, expressing their sentiments in must pass legislation, etc.
  31. This recommendation is sourced from the GAO. Ibid 1.
  32. This recommendation is sourced from the National Academy of Public Administration Election 2020 Select Task Force: Organization of Information Policy and Use At OMB. See “Advancing Information Policy and Use at the OMB.”National Academy of Public Administration. 2020.
  33. Chui, Michael, Diana Farrell, and Kate Jackson. “How Government Can Promote Open Data and Help Unleash Over $3 Trillion in Economic Value.” Government Designed for New Times. McKinsey Global Institute, n.d.$3_trillion_in_economic_value.pdf.
  34. Kenneth R. Dahl, Colonel, U.S. Army writes ‘The federal government has archaic, vertical, “stove-pipe” organizational structure and processes that severely undermine success in operations and policy implementation. We are unable to achieve unity of effort and a whole-of-government approach to devising solutions to critical problems.’ See Dahl, Kenneth R. “New Security for New Threats: The Case for Reforming the Interagency Process.” The Brooking Institution, July 2007.
  35. Open Knowledge Network - Summary of the Big Data Interagency Working Group Workshop.” The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, November 2018.
  36. This recommendation was sourced from the NSCAI Final Report. Ibid 10.
  37. GAO identified data quality as a challenge preventing them from determining the extent to which agencies regularly update their inventories. Ibid 1.
  38. Sambasivan, Nithya, Shivani Kapania, Hannah Highfill, Diana Akrong, Praveen Paritosh, and Lora Aroyo. “EveryoneWants to Do the Model Work, Not the Data Work: Data Cascades in High-Stakes AI.” Google Research, n.d.
  39. The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 tasked NIST to develop standards for AI data sharing and documentation. SeePub. L. 116-283, William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, 134 Stat. 3388(2021).
  40. This recommendation was sourced from the NSCAI Final Report. Ibid 10.
  41. PII is data that could specifically identify an individual.
  42. An individual data asset in isolation does not pose a privacy or confidentiality risk but when combined with other available information may pose such a risk. Ibid 2.
  43. This legislation was introduced on May 12th, 2021 within H.R.3133 - To establish a National Secure Data Service, and for other purposes. See, to establish a National Secure Data Service, and for other purposes., H.R. 3133, 117, (2012),
  44. As defined by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, evidence means information produced as a result of statistical activities conducted for a statistical purpose. The Act established an Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building. See Ibid 2.
  45. This recommendation was sourced from the Report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. See, “The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking - Report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking,” September 2017.
  46. Ibid 18.
  47. This recommendation was sourced from the NSCAI Final Report. Ibid 10.
  48. The SolarWinds cybersecurity attack reached top government agencies and exposed sensitive data. See Jibilian, Isabella, and Katie Canales. “The US Is Readying Sanctions against Russia over the SolarWinds Cyber Attack. Here's a Simple Explanation of How the Massive Hack Happened and Why It's Such a Big Deal.” Business Insider, April 15, 2021.
  49. In March 2018, the President’s Management Agenda identified aging technology infrastructure as a barrier to change. See “FDS 2020 Action Plan.” PMA, n.d.
  50. Resources can include dispatching CISA cybersecurity researchers to agencies in need of security support.
  51. Ibid 29.
  52. This recommendation was sourced from the NSCAI Final Report. Ibid 10.
  53. Hypothetical or moonshot dataset ideas can be as useful as preexisting knowledge of existing datasets.
  54. Such an ideation competition can be modeled off methods used during the Obama administration. See Chenok, Dan. “The Open Government Story - Providing A Bridge Across the Public Sector and With the Nation.” IBM Center for The Business of Government, April 2, 2020, Accessed June 7, 2021.
  55. Center for Open Data Enterprise “North America Use Cases.” The Open Data Impact Map. Last modified Fall 2016.
  56. USDA Economic Research Service “Research Projects and Publications” FoodAPS National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey. Last modified November 4, 2020.
  57. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “NOAA helps ranchers and federal agencies manage drought impacts.” Value of the Data: U.S. Drought Monitor. Last modified March 18, 2019.
  58. Ibid 2.