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Last year, the Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) Project — a collaborative effort of which I’m a part — commented on phase I of the draft Federal Data Strategy. This time around, there was a request for comments on phase III, the draft action plan for the Federal Data Strategy and again PEGI submitted comments (grab the PDF here). They were very specific about what comments they were looking for this time around:
In March 2018, President Trump launched the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). It lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The PMA established a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset with an intended purpose of guiding development of a comprehensive long-term Federal Data Strategy (hereinafter “Strategy”) to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency (https://www.performance.gov/CAP/CAP_goal_2.html). This notice seeks comment on a draft action plan for Federal agencies to adopt in order to achieve the objectives of this CAP goal. This is the third Federal Register Notice seeking public comment related to the Federal Data Strategy. The previous two notices sought comments on the Strategy’s draft principles and draft practices, respectively.
Please provide comment on the scope and content of the 2019-2020 Federal Data Strategy Action Plan.
- Identify any additional fundamental actions to implement the Federal Data Strategy that are not included in this draft Year-1 Action Plan and explain why.
- Identify any additional actions that would align with or complement ongoing Federal data initiatives or the implementation of new legislation, such as the Foundations for Evidence-based Policy Making Act and explain why.
- Identify any actions in this draft Year-1 Action Plan that should be omitted and explain why.
- For each action, provide any edits and additional detail to ensure that they accurately and effectively describe needed activities, responsible entities, metrics for assessing progress, and timelines for completion.
- For each action, provide information about the implementation resources necessary to ensure success of these Action Steps.
PEGI focused (of course!) on the importance of data preservation and robust metadata, proposing “approaches that will maximize resource use by assuring that the implementation of the Federal Data Strategy will include preservation as a key component.” Read our comments in their entirety and also check out all of the submitted comments on regulations.gov.
The Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) Project (of which I’m a board member) just submitted comments to the Department of Commerce concerning “Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset Phase 1 Comments” [Docket Number USBC-2018-0011 (Federal Register)]. This is just the first round of requests for comments, with other comment periods coming up in October, 2018, January, 2019, and April, 2019.
1. BEST PRACTICES FOR ENTERPRISE DATA GOVERNANCE
In establishing governance practices for strategically managing Federal data, an advisory board should be established to make recommendations for data management and stewardship, with substantial representation from academic and non-profit communities. These communities act on behalf of the broad public interest in Federal data investments, and can advise on how Federal data stewards can responsibly leverage emerging best practices for data lifecycle management. For example, the Open Government Data Principles (https://public.resource.org/8_principles.html) developed by public advocates in 2007 articulate a public-first approach to government data to ensure that the investment in these resources is fully realized.
In general, data management practices should incorporate a lifecycle evaluation process that articulates immediate, short-term, and long-term actions, incorporating strategies that address data discoverability, accessibility, usability, and preservation. We note that the FAIR Principles (https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/) are in widespread adoption as guidance for responsible data lifecycle management, and propose that Federal data governance strategies seek to address these principles.
Integration with Federal information policy is essential for aligning Federal data practices with public information dissemination practices. To that end, Office of Management & Budget policies, including Circular A-130, should be amended to address public information lifecycle management, including data management, for all information dissemination products.
According to FedScoop, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the unit in the White House which handles executive branch information policies and procedures, is requesting public comment and best practices on the Federal Data Strategy, including a new draft set of principles based on three overarching themes: data stewardship, quality, and continuous improvement. Of specific concern to me is the Fed’s focus on “commercialization challenges.” This has all kinds of implications on libraries, data collections and services. Please forward to interested library groups. Comments are due July 27, 2018.
Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and its government partners took a significant step towards achieving that goal. They have launched a new website, strategy.data.gov, to encourage public comment on the Federal Data Strategy, including a new draft set of principles based on three overarching themes: data stewardship, quality, and continuous improvement. These government leaders are also especially interested in use cases that can be models for future work. Any member of the public can provide direct input here. The announcement today presents an ideal opportunity for government data providers and data users of all kinds to have an impact on how the Federal Data Strategy develops.