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Opening government data now under deliberation

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Following moves to accelerate the building of an e-government, the matter of opening government data has been put into discussion. 

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Vietnam is building an e-government 


Open data is a broad concept that implies access to data both in the public sector (data collected, stored, managed by state agencies) and the private sector (data generated by private enterprises, organizations, private research institutions, and independent individuals). 

However, the focus now is on opening public sector data.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) 2013 report on open data showed the two major benefits of government data opening, including promotion of the digital economy development and increase in transparency of government activities.

The data of state agencies is collected from a system of specialized agencies with large human and capital resources. 

If the government allows the private sector to access the data system, businesses and organizations will be able to create programs to satisfy needs in many fields, including education, healthcare and transportation.

The activities will help create profits for businesses, organizations and the government, and stimulate the invention of technological apps that satisfy different demands of society.

There are many data systems that could be opened, such as data on transportation, weather, public finance and policies.

In the UK, for example, open data in transport brings profits of 100 billion pounds a year.

From the state management angle, opening government data will help enhance transparency of government activities and supervision. 

As this improves interactions between the government and the private sector, management efficiency will be improved.

Nguyen Thuy Linh and Nguyen Quang Dong from IPS (Institute of Policy Studies and Media Development), in their article published on Khoa Hoc & Phat Trien, pointed out that as the concept remains unfamiliar in Vietnam, policies must first be created.

The legal criteria that need to be taken into consideration in order to create a premise for the opening of data include a law on access to information, open data, information security and copyright.

There are six national data systems that Vietnam need to be prioritized in the immediate time, including a national database on inhabitants; land; business registration; general database on population; and finance and insurance.

Vietnam has a Law on Access to Information, but it is necessary to have laws on open data. Legislation on access to information plays an important role, serving as the backbone for legislation on open data.


Source: VNN

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