Glass fiber optic lighting on a keyboard

The government wants to make its own data freely accessible as much as possible. Citizens and businesses can use and disseminate these open data. The website Buienradar (rainfall radar), for instance, makes use of KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) data. The government makes data available actively, so not only by request. Open data helps citizens better understand what the government does and enables them to exercise more influence. Open data also provides opportunities for the development of new digital services. Apart from open data there is also open source. Open source means that the source code of software is freely available. The government stimulates government bodies to use open source software.

Not public

Much public sector information is not yet public, for instance because computers are unable to read data or because ministries have different working methods. Some data cannot be made public for privacy, confidentiality or intellectual property reasons. Sometimes personal data have to be anonymized. Open design is another option. Open design means that working procedures meet both privacy and public access requirements from the outset. A survey of the Ministry of the Interior reveals that there are 550 new data sets, whereas 300 new files are planned. Other ministries are still working on such a survey.

Municipal websites

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights wants municipalities to make their websites more accessible. Inaccessible websites cannot be used by persons with impairments. This makes it impossible for blind or motor disabled people, for instance, to search for municipal information or to do business with the municipality online. The right to digital accessibility is laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The House of Representatives is expected to examine the bill on the accessibility of public sector websites in 2016.