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How is open data valuable for a more efficient government

How is open data valuable for a more efficient government

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: ePSI Platform on May 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Fact  Sheet  
Version  May  2012  

How  PSI  re-­‐use  can  help  PSBs  to   operate  more  efficiently  
What  is  this  fact  sheet  about?   The  main  arguments  for  public  sector  information  (PSI)  re-­‐use  are  often  described  in  terms  of  value  to  society   (transparency,  participation,  economic  growth,  innovation).  However,  there  is  also  a  very  strong  argument  to  be  made   that  PSI  re-­‐use  will  help  public  sector  bodies  (PSBs)  operate  more  efficiently.  Publishing  PSI  allows  the  supplying  PSB  to   focus  on  the  data  that  is  provided  rather  than  on  the  overhead  costs  and  marketing  around  this  data.  We  provide  a   number  of  examples  of  how  PSBs  can  realise  more  efficient  operation  by  focussing  on  data  and  cutting  overhead   costs,  in  this  fact  sheet.       Cut  invoicing  costs   example  is  of  a  Dutch  PSB  that  publishes  a  list  of  pay   When  PSBs  lower  the  price  of  PSI  to  zero,  it  is  not  only   dates  for  student  loans.  The  number  of  pay  date   commercial  companies  that  benefit  from  the  lowered   inquiries  by  phone  has  decreased  by  80%  as  a  result.     price.  A  lot  of  the  PSI  produced  and  sold  by  PSBs  is     also  re-­‐used  by  other  PSBs.  If  this  PSI  is  made  available   An  interesting  development  is  that  PSBs  start  to  save   for  free,  not  only  is  there  a  drop  in  expenditure  for  the   money  as  a  direct  result  of  the  introduction  of  the  PSI   purchasing  PSB,  but  the  overhead  cost  of  the   channel.  Further,  PSBs  have  started  to  publish  open   supplying  PSB  also  goes  down.  This  is  because  the   data  because  of  the  availability  of  a  more  efficient   supplying  PSB  incurs  no  additional  costs  for  invoicing   publication  process.  If  a  PSB  has  introduced  a  new   and  billing  systems  and  generally  incurs  less  handling   smartphone  app  or  built  a  better  website  to  make   costs  around  the  accounts  receivable.  Since  the  cost  of   their  operation  more  efficient,  it  is  often  quite  easy  to   even  a  single  invoice  can  be  quite  substantial,  there   start  publishing  PSI  as  well.       are  real  gains  to  be  found  for  the  free  supply  of  PSI.       Less  presentation  tools   Less  or  cheaper  interaction   If  a  commercial  company  uses  PSI  to  build  a  website  or   mobile  app  that  supplies  information,  chances  are  that   A  PSB  tasked  with  compiling  and  publishing   the  PSB’s  official  website  generates  less  traffic.  In   information  on  schools  (including  the  quality  of   some  cases,  this  is  an  unfortunate  side  effect  of  PSI  re-­‐ schools)  helped  citizens  by  answering  their   use,  but  in  most  cases  this  is  actually  a  very  welcome   analytical  questions  with  a  fully  customised  report.   outcome  of  the  publication  of  open  data.     In  this  way  the  PSB  could  ensure  high  quality  of     data  and  really  help  the  public.  This  PSB  has  now   Many  PSBs,  at  the  local,  national  and  European  level,   switched  to  publishing  all  data  for  free  in  .csv  and   are  now  building  proprietary  mobile  apps  and   .xls  formats  and  the  public  now  makes  their  own   websites  when  in  fact  they  could  relax  and  wait  for  the   reports.  Consequently,  the  PSB  could  reassign   developers  to  come  in  and  start  building  apps  and   three  full-­‐time  staff  members.   websites.  And  if  that  takes  too  long,  they  might     develop  a  ‘throwaway  app’,  i.e.  software  intended  to     be  used  only  for  a  limited  period  of  time  and  which   The  supply  of  PSI  by  a  PSB  can  be  seen  as  a  separate   could  be  produced  considerably  cheaper  as  compared   communication  channel  for  the  PSB.  This  channel   to  a  full-­‐service  app.     augments  and  replaces  more  traditional     communication  channels  like  telephone  helpdesks,   Side  effect:  discussion  on  the  public  task   paper  mail  and  offices.  If  the  PSB  is  able  to  capitalize   Not  all  PSBs  believe  that  they  should  ‘outsource’  the   on  the  particulars  of  this  new  PSI  communication   production  of  apps  and  websites  to  commercial  re-­‐ channel  it  can  usually  save  considerably  in  terms  of   users.  They  often  argue  that  true  credibility  can  come   time  and  money.  Examples  include  the  one  above,  but   only  from  government  services,  not  from  commercial   PSBs  can  also  benefit  from  publication  of  actual  and   vendors.  A  discussion  on  what  is,  and  what  is  not  part   current  waiting  times  for  telephone  contact  centres   of  the  PSB’s  public  task  often  follows.  You  can  find   and  answers  to  other  frequently  asked  questions.   more  on  the  public  task  in  our  fact  sheet  on  the  topic.     Customers  will  call  more  during  ‘quiet  times’,  thus   easing  the  stress  during  peak  periods.  Another         ePSI  Platform  Fact  Sheets  provide  short  introductions  to  key  concepts   and  developments,  allowing  ‘new  comers’  to  the  PSI  re-­‐use  arena  to  get  up  to  speed  swiftly.   Find  ePSI  Platform  Fact  Sheets  at  epsiplatform.eu.  


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