At a time when data openness and transparency are values that are highly demanded by citizens, the concept of Open Government becomes increasingly important. This has the objective that taxpayers help and collaborate in the creation and improvement of public services based on three main pillars: transparency, collaboration and citizen participation.
The Open Government portals, usually with sections on Transparency, Open Data and Citizen Participation, provide channels and communication tools between the public institution or government and the citizens. The first allows them to open their information, their data and render accounts, while the second is used to exercise active participation, among others.
Currently in Spain is underway the IV Open Government Plan, which raises the commitment to the development of this type of initiatives by the Administration between 2019 and 2021.
When it comes to promoting this desired transparency, the opening of data and participation of citizens is of vital importance to have these portals. There is no single model, but there are several approaches according to the needs and possibilities of each of the administrations and determine the degree of maturity in the initiative that can be achieved:
- Open Data Portal.
- Open Data Portal and Transparency.
- Portal of Transparency and Citizen Participation.
- Open Government Portal (Open Data, Transparency and Citizen Participation).
The OGoov Platform is capable of deploying any of these models and additionally allows adding the component called Real Time Open Data (RTOD). RTOD is an OGoov middleware that allows the automatic extraction of information from the systems of the organization and its publication automatically in its Open Data Catalog. It is also capable of injecting semantics into these data and offering them to a semantic server that in turn provides a SPARQL point to the portal.
From OGoov we have worked with different organizations (city councils, regional governments, universities…) creating their Open Government portals. Next, we will go through some of the last projects we have worked on.
ALBA Smart 2020 (Almendralejo y Badajoz)
The ALBA Smart project tries to sensorise several administrative areas or services that from the participating municipalities (Almendralejo and Badajoz) are provided to citizens, integrate and interconnect existing ones and bring them all together under a Smart Data platform.
It is an intelligent city project launched by the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
The city councils with this project bring technology closer to citizens, through three fundamental actions:
- Improvement of public services and municipal management, allowing the knowledge in detail of them and optimizing public resources.
- Provide public and accessible information to citizens and provide digital tools that will improve their quality of life.
- With the data available with the start-up of the project, it is possible to generate knowledge based on its treatment and give development possibilities to local companies and entrepreneurs.
Supporting these actions is the implementation and application in the municipalities of the Transparency and Open Data Portals of Almendralejo and Badajoz, taking advantage of the potential of the OGoov Open Government platform.
Usually, entities, when trying to comply with the obligations on active advertising, limit themselves to offering the information in formats with recognized limitations (for example, PDF) or adding links to other sections that may be complex for the citizen (such as the profile of the contractor).
On 7 occasions, the law refers to reusable and interoperable formats and, in particular, articles 5 and 11 recommend and encourage the information provided to be in reusable formats.
With the combination of the features offered by OGoov’s Open Data and Transparency modules, most of the information that completes the transparency indicators can be uploaded as Open Data and simply linked from the corresponding indicator, guaranteeing its possible reuse and interoperability, both by providing reusable formats such as when offered through the OGoov APIs.
At present, the Badajoz portal has 73 data sets and 298 distributions published as Open Data, and responds with 108 contents to its transparency indicators. Likewise, the Almendralejo portal offers 230 open datasets with 1125 distributions and 59 responses to transparency indicators.
Thanks to the RTOD component, OGoov is able to integrate with other components of the Smart City Platform. This allows us to offer both the latest data obtained in real time, and take advantage of the historical data to offer them to citizens and reusers as open data in a wide variety of formats.
The Transparency module of the portals, in addition to exposing the Transparency tree of the municipalities according to the ITA 2017, allows seeing its historical evolution and offers the possibility for the citizen to exercise his right of access to public information by requesting information that does not be published
The available portals are adapted and comply with the international initiatives for the standardization of the Electronic Administration and especially the Technical Norm of Interoperability of Reuse of Information Resources (NTI), the Standard UNE 178301: 2015 on Smart Cities (Open Data) and the Open and Agile Smart Cities Initiative.
City Council of Sant Feliu de Llobregat
The project developed for the City Council of Sant Feliu of Llobregat included the deployment and start-up of its new Open Data Portal, which has been the first OGoov reference in Catalonia.
The portal required to be multi-language, offering the possibility of navigating through it in Catalan, Spanish or English and, of course, being adapted so that the citizen could consult it both from computers and from any type of mobile device.
Currently, the intense work of the City Council staff has allowed the opening of 45 data sets and 1586 distributions (resources). The RTOD component helps to extract 33 of the 45 published data sets in an automated way, ensuring that the information is updated and without additional effort for loading.
The Open Data Portal has a data catalog manager (CKAN); complemented by a WordPress to offer an attractive and powerful presentation layer that also incorporates the use of a powerful library of tables and visualization treatment.
In view of the importance that this type of initiatives are gaining, the platform has the scalability as one of its main advantages. In this way it is very simple, adding sections of Transparency and Citizen Participation, evolve in the future to an Open Government Portal.
Deputation of Sevilla
Viafirma won the competition for the development of the Open Data Portal for the Deputation of Sevilla, which has been deployed using the open government platform OGoov.
In this case, a multi-purpose project will allow the publication of the Open Data Portal of the deputation itself, as well as the portals of the municipalities served by it and wishing to adhere to the initiative to open data.
This deployment also includes the RTOD component, which will be responsible for extracting the results in an automated way from the Deputation’s databases, offering them in nine different formats within the data catalog.
The Open Data Portal of the Deputation is pending an upcoming production output. When this occurs, we will share more information about this exciting project.
OGoov continues to work to help achieve maximum transparency and open data to public and private organizations, with the aim of offering citizens the information they have by providing all the facilities for analysis, use, understanding and reuse.