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France Outlines Open Data Plans

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 12 2013

On Friday the French government released their Action Plan for France to enact the guidelines and practices outlined in the G8 Open Data Charter, adopted in June of this year at the Lough Erne Summit by the President of the French Republic and the other G8 Member States.

A press release points out that the French commitment to transparency dates back to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789, which states in article 15 that “Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of its administration.”

France launched data.gouv.fr, also known as Etalab, in 2011. Only 18 months after the launch the site had already received more than one million unique visitors who looked at more than five million pages and downloaded roughly 500,000 files.

France has made the commitment to move towards publishing data openly as the default, to build the second version of data.gouv.fr with open source tools, to consult citizens and civil society while developing open data policy, and to support the open movement in France and elsewhere.

The report goes on to outline what specific ministries are aiming to release in the next year or so. For example, “the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy will work to provide detailed data on fish resources by 2014,” and “the Ministry for the Reform of the State, the Civil Service and Decentralization will work to make data available on salary scales and pay grades, particularly for senior positions in the national, local or social civil service.”

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