textos  universitaris  de

ISSN 1575 - 5886 DL B - 19.675 - 1998

biblioteconomia  i documentació

número 29 desembre de 2012 Facultat  de  Biblioteconomia  i Documentació   Universitat de Barcelona

inici   •   presentació   •   instruccions autors   •   subscripció   •   arxiu   •   cerca   •   blok


Reuse of Public Sector Information in Spain: A solid foundation for a promising future
[Versió catalana] EmiLio Garcia Garcia
Technical Advisor Ministry of Finances and Public Administration emilio.garcia@seap.minhap.es
Imprimir Recomanar Citació Estadístiques Metadades Similars

SaLvaDor LUis SoriaNo MaLDoNaDo
Technical Advisor Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism slsoriano@minetur.es


[Resum] [Resumen]

The reuse of public sector information is the cornerstone in the Open data and Open Government strategies.  The European authorities are promoting public information reuse policies as a pillar for the digital economy and a lever for democratic transparency in the European Union. The genesis of the reuse of public sector information policies in Spain has been the Aporta Project , established in 2008 and coordinated by the Ministry of Finances and Public Administration and the Ministry for Industry, Energy and Tourism of the Spanish National Government. The project since its inception aims to promote reuse of public sector information culture in Spain and benefits are being reaped now in the form of a vibrant infomediary sector and a growing number of open data initiatives in all the government layers. A major renewal of the reuse of public sector information strategy in Spain was launched in 2011 following the guidelines of The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 and The Digital Agenda for Europe, the new objective is maximizing the public value of the public sector information through its massive reusage.

1 The genesis of an innovative policy
Beyond any discussion, the open data concept is at the heart of some of the most innovative initiatives in Public Administration. Easy access to public data promotes at same time accountability through transparency and economic growth through the development of information services by third parties. Well before open data policies began to appear in political and economical newspapers and magazines, the European Commission proposed to the European Council and the European Parliament the approval of a Directive on the ReUse of Public Sector Information (European Commission, 2002). It was the year 2002, and the proposal was the final milestone of a road started in the year 1999 with the Green paper on PSI in the Information Society (European Commission, 1999). Although some parts of this paper could sound naive, especially taking into account some of the current policy debates around open data and its potential business models for the public and private sector, it lays on the table questions that are still under discussion now: an agreed on the definition for public sector information the need to provide equally rights on reuse to all the potential user the debate about pricing regimes the potential conflicts between the reuse of public sector information and the legal frameworks for privacy and copyright However, this founding paper looked more worried with the access issues than with the economical value of public sector information. A couple of years have to pass until a first intuitive economic value for public sector information appeared, not by itself but in connection with the digital contents sector then estimated in 433 billion of Euros or  5% of European Union GDP (European Commission, 2001, p. 4). Public Sector Information appears for the first time as just another possible source of information for the digital content sector, and therefore susceptible to be sold in the form of value added products and services.  As "an information service based on tourist information, traffic data and/or environmental data that stops at the border will lose much of its appeal" (European Commission, 2001, p. 5), the European Commission put forward the case for extending the single market concept to the field of the reuse of public sector information. The instrument proposed for the Commission to overcome the fragmented public sector information market was a legal instrument, which main feature would be "a general right to re-use

with the aim to facilitate the identification of public information resources. 2007. education materials were published. art. The Internet presence of the Aporta Project is complemented with the usage of social media channels like twitter (@proyectoaporta). One of the first steps taken was setting up an Internet portal for the initiative (www. Nevertheless. European Council. which acted as a hub for online material related with the reuse of public sector information. The portal has doubled the number of visits per year. The above reasons were behind the launch of Aporta Project. The Aporta Project has combined from its start the use of online and face to face actions. The Directive "built on and was without prejudice to the existing access regimes in the Member States" (European Union. Nearly 20% of the visits are currently from outside Spain showing a growing valuation of the initiative in the international arena. the promotion of a community requires also face to face encounters. the legal instrument finally adopted did not reach that objective. production. 2001. hoping to be the catalyzer of what then was an incipient community. 2003. Besides the different pieces of the legal framework in the European and National level. 3). where the re-use of documents held by public sector bodies is allowed. commercial re-use should be possible" (European Commission.000 to 40.public sector information:  whenever public sector information is generally accessible. 2003. together with a reasonable return on investment" (European Union. Plainly speaking. the Law establishes that public administrations should make re-use easier by creating lists and indexes accessible online. the transposition of the Directive was adopted on November 2007 (Spanish Government. For example. paragraph 2). the project evolved to organize a yearly international event with the participation of a mix of experts coming from the European landscape and the different government tiers in . article 6). The project was based on three pillars that reinforced each other: Foster a culture of Reuse of Public Sector Information Pave the way for the provision by the government of the existing public sector information Promote the market of Reuse of Public Sector Information To sum up. article 1. In the case of Spain.es). Moreover. article 3.3). these documents shall be reusable for commercial or non-commercial purposes" (European Parliament. The Avanza Plan 2 was focused on obtaining the appropriate use of the ICT. Energy and Tourism and within the framework of the Avanza Plan. However. 11). some Member States failed to implement its national transposition by the deadline established for 1 July of 2005 1 .000. the Directive did not oblige to allow the reuse of public sector information but the provision of public sector information in equal conditions. Although the Directive finally adopted was not as ambitious as initially planned by the European Commission. paragraph 3). The main goal of Aporta Project was the promotion of a culture of reuse of public sector information.aporta. p. part of the National Plan of Reforms designed by the Government to follow the Lisbon Strategy in 2000. Although the online activities of the Aporta Project have been behind its widespread knowledge. The Aporta project was launched in October 2008 coordinated by Ministry of Finances and Public Administration and the Ministry for Industry. the Law foresees the possibility of making PSI freely available under no restrictions. 2007. jumping from less than 20. the principle of the Directive 2003/98/EC (European Union. With a first stage where the axis were workshops to showcase best practices on open data and reuse of public data. 2007). 2003. reproduction and dissemination. the project looked forward to unleash the potential of the reuse of public sector information in Spain through the convergence of private and public initiatives in the field. 2009). 2003) was that "Member States shall ensure that. 2011) and international projects (Spain takes the lead . creating awareness and dissemination actions are highly needed in order to have success in this task. with the purpose of making successful an economical growing model based on the competitiveness and productivity increase. the citizen's quality of life improvement and the social and regional equality. The Spanish Law establishes an ample definition of public sector information which covers not only traditional documents but also data sets (Spanish Government. 2 Aporta Project: Towards a culture of reusability The approval of the Law 37/2007 by the Spanish Parliament signaled the start for the development of the reuse of public sector information policies in Spain. in the form of the Law 37/2007 on the reuse of public sector information.  Both process and conditions for re-use have to be established in a transparent and open manner (Spanish Government. raising awareness of the importance and value of public sector information and reuse among government. The OECD has remarked the Avanza Plan as a case where "a strong policy and governance framework have been the key for the success of information society policies" (OECD. It defines the types of conditions under which re-use can be authorized and it sets the rules applicable to charging. it was clear from the very next day after the approval that making effective the reuse of public sector information would demand more efforts than the mere adoption of a new law. The introduction of new ideas and concepts is always a complex issue in Public Administration. article 4. The very name was chosen as an spearhead for the promotion of the new culture: "Aporta" means to share in Spanish language. in a respectful way with the copyright and privacy issues and charges were allowed as long as "the total income from supplying and allowing re-use of documents shall not exceed the cost of collection. 2010). Some of this material has been praised for its usefulness and innovation by other government (The National Archives of United Kingdom. In the end. citizens and businesses.

in the European Union both the Digital Agenda for Europe and The European eGovernment Action Plan gave an strategic value to increase the availability of public sector information for reuse. The decree includes a legal notice template setting out the general conditions for re-use (as default this open data license applies). a vibrant infomediary sector has appeared from the thin air and its business activity is estimated in 550-650 million of Euros (Proyecto Aporta. Regulation of re-use modalities The general (and default) rule is the provision of re-use under a limited number of general conditions established in the decree. which started with a participatory process about a first draft of the Royal Decree. provided that their access is not restricted by access rules (information is reusable as a default rule). The main goal of the Royal Decree is to fulfill the goal that "data should be open and available by default and exceptions should be justified" . Relevant coordination mechanisms are established in the field of the Spanish National Government. on re-use of public sector information. establishing also a set of minimum functions. 2011) equivalent to the revenues of mobile roaming services obtained by telecom operators (Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones. the adoption of a Royal Decree to spell out the implementations details of the law was launched in December 2010. it was clear that jumping to a new stage was needed. After the first stage where creating awareness of the strategic importance of public data had been the main goal. as well as from civil society. increasing the visibility and accessibility of public data and removing the barriers for its reusage have been addressed at an increasing pace.In this regard. The impact of Aporta Project has gone beyond the limits of the Public Sector and its outcomes are also visible in the civic society and industry. demanding the European Union Member States to reinforce and relaunch its policies in this field. the project could be considered as an example on how to promote the reuse of public sector information from the scratch. the decree provides some flexibility for those administrations and public sector bodies which need to establish additional specific conditions when deemed necessary. On the other hand. Officers responsible for re-use are identified in each ministerial department.Spain. 2006) and its value is currently under review. In order to overcome these barriers. Public Sector Information Catalogue: Legal support is given to the existing Public Sector Information Catalogue Administrations and public sector bodies will be responsible for keeping the Catalogue up to date. a fragmented landscape of conditions for reuse of public data. as it is the case of Opendata Euskadi and Opendata Barcelona. However. for the national public sector" 6 . Nearly all of the 17 regional Spanish Governments have launched an opendata portal and there are also some important initiatives in the local level3 . 2010). Although it is difficult to highlight some of these portals in the subnational level. agency or public body. The new piece of legal framework was adopted as the "Royal Decree 1495/2011 implementing Law 37/2007 of 16 November. some of them have also obtain recognition in the international stage by themselves. The alpha version of the Public Sector Information Catalogue4 included in the Aporta Project portal was in the need of an evolution and the infomediary sector demanded new rules for sustain its growth. After a revisit to the definition of an infomediary company. several barriers were still on place in Spain5 . the Council of Ministers approved the 2011-2015 Strategy for Plan Avanza 2. On one hand. the Royal Decree regulates the following aspects: It details the obligations of administrations and public sector bodies in promoting re-use: Re-use of public sector information is authorized in general. After three years of life. the new objective set in the plan was maximizing the public value of the public sector information through its massive reusage. After three years of the approval of the Law 37/2007. It should be highlighted this business volume it is still far away of its full estimated potential of 2000 million of Euros (Commission of the European Communities. 2012). This second stage gives continuity to Plan Avanza. the economical value of the sector has been reduced and estimated in 330550 million of Euros in 2012 (Proyecto Aporta. ¿Dónde van mis impuestos?. and it contains an update of the objectives and actions in the field of the reuse of public sector information. . the most important the Spanish branch of Pro Bono Publico which organizes in 2010 and 2011 an open data applications contest called Abre Datos and has promoted transparency initiatives as the Spanish version of "Where does my money goes". The main obstacles identified were the uncertainty of which public information was reusable. a consequence of its closeness to both. including an early alignment with some aspects of the proposal for the renewal of the Directive 2003/98/EC launched by the European Commission a year later. To achieve this objective. several NGOs have rooted in the area of data journalism and the promotion of open data initiative. Administrations and public sector bodies will proactively inform on re-usable information they possess. enriched the initial text and the result was one of the most advanced legal frameworks on the matter. Inputs from the public and private sectors. 3 The renewal of the ReUse of PSI Strategy in Spain On July 16th 2010. At the same time. By the end of 2010. the lack of a clear assignation of roles and responsibilities on the provision chain of information in public entities and the scarce use of open standards and machine-readable formats in the information available.

the datasets from the Catalogue. Spurred by the definition in the Royal Decree of a single license (legal notice) for the reuse of public sector information. the Directive creates a genuine right to re-use public information. a clear sign of this strength has been the campaign for a single open data license in the European Union. underpinned in the active participation in the working groups set by the Commission and the Council. Traces of the early alignment of the Spanish policies with the EU policies could be found in the recent proposal of amending of Directive 2003/98/EC from the European Commission  (European Commission. users can easily share the released data in datos. provide a solid foundation for an explosion on the reuse of public data in Spain. Web 2. the open data activists managed to collect online 10 support from different personalities in the EU 11 . the new rules included in the Royal Decree 1495/2011 and the renewed Catalogue of Public Sector Information. In exceptional cases only.gob. However. . Spanish Government maintain in the eGovernment area. Thus. the provisions concerning the re-use of public sector information do not change the rules governing access to administrative documents enshrined in Spanish legal system. 2011 b). Through the use of different blogs and the twitter hashtag #1ODataLicenseEU. Thanks to these functions. There will be independent supervision of the implementation of the rules in all the Member States.es. The advanced position of Spain in the field of the reuse of public sector information policies reinforces also the strength of the Spanish open data community. The general rule for charging will be that public sector bodies can charge at maximum the marginal cost for disseminating the information. in a framework of fair competition. It also follows W3C recommendations on open data publishing for governments and it is based on standard technologies XHTML and CSS. As provided in the Law 37/2007. Apart from the growing participation of members of the community in international events. However.0 participation and awareness on the benefits of reusing.gob.gob. accessibility. it offers a more attractive design 7 and adds new tools for promotion. 8 Both. regulating the minimum conditions for a second level of information processing that is generated by public bodies. in particular a continuous early alignment with the European Union policies.gob. which has its legal base in the Royal Decree 1495/2011. It includes general features from the Web Architecture and the One Web. This is the objective of the new Public Sector Information Catalogue datos. the future of the reuse of public sector information policies in Spain is heavily influenced by the policies and legal proposals designed by the European Commission. the Commissar Neelie Kroes welcomed the initiative in her blog and announced the future development of guidelines for licensing open government data in Europe.  pushing in these fora for the acceptance of its own best practices.Regulation of conditions applicable to the re-use of information subject to intellectual property rights or which contain personal data. This proposal was published in December 2011. All except the last one were already part of the Spanish Legal framework after the adoption of the Royal Decree 1495/2011. the sample applications and latest news about PSI world. What is more. cooperation in feeding and updating the catalogue is mandatory for all public sector bodies and departments belonging to the state public sector according to Royal Decree 1495/2007. However. The portal datos.es fulfils all relevant international requirements on design. By the end of the month. usability and web security. absent from the original Directive. maximizing the public value of public sector information requires not only removing the barriers for its reuse. but provide added value to the right of access contemplating the basic regulatory system for re-use by others of information held by the public sector for commercial or noncommercial ends. it demands in the first place making this information visible and accessible. in general. This design has been awarded by the EU LAPSI project as the most user friendly design of a Public Sector Information portal in January 2011 (Futia. 4 Looking forward to the future As a Member State of the European Union. Data should be made available in machine-readable formats where possible. a group of open data activists called in February 2012 for the inclusion of the same provision in the revision of the EU Directive 9 . The portal datos. Intellectual property rights are licensed as a default rule and are streamlined with the re-use modalities established in the decree (this is part of the default open data license). this situation neither implies a passive attitude from the Spanish authorities nor a wait-and-see what is proposed from Brussels.es is the evolution of the web site initially developed for Aporta Project and its beta version was launched in October 2011. full cost recovery (plus a reasonable return on investment) will remain possible. 2011 a) was: All public data that is not covered by one of the exceptions will become re-usable. and the reuse of public data field.es. The software platform chosen for its implementation was Drupal as CMS and Virtuozzo as its semantic platform. and among the new features highlighted by the European Commission in its press release (European Commission. 2012). Specific rules are established for those documents which contain personal data so as to ensure the protection of personal data and privacy.

The National Archives of United Kingdom (2011). COM (2001) 607. Good Governance for Digital Policies: How to Get the Most Out of ICT : The Case of Spain's Plan Avanza. 31-12-2003.europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.datos.eu/information_society/policy/psi/facilitating_reuse/exlusive_agreements/index_en. [Accessed: 04/11/2012].pdf>. 23 p. 2012 will be the critical year in the implementation of the Royal Decree 1495/2011 and a close monitoring of the advances should be done in order to make its promises a reality.it/2012/02/06/tecnologia/diffondere-la-cultura-del-riutilizzo-il-ruolo-di-un-portale-di-datipubblici-j0L2DJ3OaHAJNxdO17TkdL/pagina. page 17. more efforts need to be done in order to reap all the benefits of the open data momentum in Spain.  <http://ec.htm>.  <http://europa. European Commission (2001). [Accessed: 04/11/2012].eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/directive/psi_directive_en. COM(2002) 207 final.europa. 06/02/2012.pdf>. 221 p.gov. Giuseppe. COM(1998)585. Characterization study of the infomediary sector in Spain. La Stampa. December 2011.es/en/docs/2010/EN%20%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%20CMT%202010.oecdilibrary. [Accessed: [04/11/2011] European Union (2003). June 2006. European Council (2003).lastampa. <http://www. June 2002.  MEMO 11/891. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. <http://informecmt. Official Journal of the European Union.cmt.eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/green_paper/gp_en. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. European Commission (2002). 31-12-2003. [Accessed: 04/11/2012].gob.europa.Nevertheless. Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reuse and commercial exploitation of public sector documents . Communication eEurope 2002: Creating a EU Framework for the Exploitation of PSI . European Commission. “Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information”.pdf>. <http://ec.europa. The economic benefits of reuse of public sector information policies and its contribution to a more transparent government are at hand in Spain. European Commission (2011a). [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. OECD (2010).pdf>.pdf>.eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/eeurope/2001_607_en. European Commission (1999). Bibliography Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (2010). "Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information".europa. <http://ec. October 2001. The United Kingdom Report on the  Re-use of Public Sector Information: 2010: unlocking PSI potential.pdf>. <http://ec.do? reference=MEMO/11/891&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en>.org/governance/good-governance-for-digital-policies-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-ict_9789264031104-en>. European Commission (2011b).eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/directive/psi_directive_en. Proyecto Aporta.pdf>. <http://ec. <http://ec.htm>.uk/documents/information-management/psi-report. Official Journal of the European Union. [Accessed: 04/11/2012].europa. European Commission. Measuring European Public Sector Information Resources (MEPSIR). Beyond 2012. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. European Commission. <http://ec. European Commission. The National Archives of United Kingdom. The recent incorporation of Spain to the OpenGovernment Partnership it is also a clear sign of the Spanish Government with the Open Data movement.eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/directive_proposal/2012/proposal_directive.nationalarchives. Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones.html>. Questions & answers . <http://www. Digital Agenda: Commission's Open Data Strategy.pdf>. Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council amending Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information .europa.  November 2010. European Parliament. Futia.europa. OECD. June 2011.eu/information_society/policy/psi/actions_eu/policy_actions/mepsir/index_en. European Commission. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. ISBN 978-92-64-07267-1. 2011. European Commission (2006).eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/pdfs/directive_proposal/en. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. <http://www. “Diffondere la cultura del riutilizzo: il ruolo di un portale di dati pubblici”. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. <http://ec. Green paper on PSI in the Information Society. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. January 1999. 2010. Study on exclusive arrangements on Public Sector Information . December 2011. <http://www. European Commission (2009). .es/datos/sites/default/files/aporta_infomediary%20sector_2011. Annual Report of Spanish Telecommunication Market. Proyecto Aporta. the transposition of the amendment of the EU Directive will provide a renewed impulse. European Commission.pdf>.

es/datos/?q=node/237>. <http://www.es. European Public Sector Information Platform. 2009). [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. sobre reutilización de la información del sector público”.europa. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. Characterization study of the infomediary sector in Spain.Proyecto Aporta. “Ley 37/2007. Following a policy of openness and sharing all its results. 5 An analysis of these barriers is contained in Spanish ( Characterization study of the infomediary sector in Spain .pdf > 7 The design of the portal was the result of the collaboration with members of the civic society (Pro Bono Publico) and the industry (ASEDIE.es/datos/sites/default/files/files/17nov2011%20English%20Unofficial_%20BOE_A_2011_17560_EN%20RD_1495_2011. (Spanish Government Official Gazette.gob. See: <http://ec. Spanish Government (2007). see for instance <http://apunteselectronicos.es/aeboe/consultas/bases_datos/doc. 17/11/2007.org. Spain takes the lead . 4 This alpha versión was launched during the Spanish Presidency of European Union in March 2010. Facultat de Biblioteconomia i Documentació Universitat de Barcelona Barcelona.gob.php?id=BOE-A-2007-19814>. 11 Among the supporters of the initiative were Jordi Sevilla (former Spanish Minister of Public Administrations).html>. ePSI Platform. Text in Spanish Language). <http://epsiplatform.gob. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. <http://datos.es/2012/02/call-for-single-opendata-licence-in-eu. 10 The support for the initiative were collected in the platform Actuable. desembre de 2012  Comentaris http://www.gob. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. http://actuable. Received: 08/10/2012. [Accessed: 04/11/2012].caldocasero. June 2009.pdf>. now part of change.com.es/peticiones/say-to-neeliekroeseu-we-want-singleopendata-licence-in-the>.ub. Proyecto Aporta. de 16 de noviembre. A complete lists of the more relevant supporters could be found at <http://www.es/datos/sites/default/files/files/estudio_infomediario/Info_sector%20infomediario_2012.edu/biblio  •    Recomanar  •  Citació  •  Estadístiques  •  Metadades Els textos publicats a BiD estan subjectes a una llicència de Creative Commons Política de privadesa UB  •  Facultat  •  BiD . association for the companies that work in the infomediary sector). 9 8 The call for a single open data license in the EU is still available at several blogs.eu/content/spain-takes-lead>.htm>.blogspot. See: http://datos.es/2012/02/masde-400-personas-ya-han-firmado-la.html>.boe. 3 A collection of Open Data initiatives in Spanish Regional and Local Governments is available at: <http://datos. Notes 1 The complete transposition of the Directive 2003/98/EC in the EU Member States did not finish until May 2008.eu/information_society/policy/psi/actions_ms/implementation/index_en.es/datos/?q=node/1517  (Text in Spanish). Patxi Lopez (President of the Basque Country Regional Government) and Carlos Martinez Gorriarán (Member of the Spanish National Parliament). 2 Avanza means in Spanish language “going beyond”. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. Accepted: 04/11/2012.  6 The non official English translation of the Royal Decree 1495/2011 is available in <http://datos. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. 2011) and European studies (European Commission. BOE . June 2012. [Accessed: 04/11/2012]. the technical details of the platform used are available in the portal. They managed to collect more than 600 online signatures in one month.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful