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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0089-000892

July 19, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government

 

 

Open data signals new direction for B.C. government

 

VICTORIA With a new, citizen-focused government website, release of open datasets and proactive posting of freedom of information requests and government expenses, B.C. has become a national leader in open government, said Premier Christy Clark.

 

“We are changing our approach to governing by putting citizens at the centre of our web services and making government data and information more freely available,” said Premier Clark. “Open government is about sharing information and giving British Columbians more opportunities to participate in decisions that make a difference in their lives.”

 

The B.C. government website, www.gov.bc.ca, has been redesigned to focus on frequently used services, making it easier for families and businesses to find the services they are looking for. The website features DataBC, a new open data site, and Open Information, an information release site as part of government’s commitment to be more connected, open and responsive.

 

B.C. is the first provincial government to create a site like DataBC (www.data.gov.bc.ca) – a catalogue of nearly 2,500 sets of data that, over time, will increase as new datasets become available. This data is free, searchable and available for anyone to use and repurpose.

 

A broad range of datasets are available, such as birth rates, carbon emissions statistics and information on schools. Opening up this information will help people make informed decisions, conduct research, analyze statistics and develop applications.

 

Also beginning today, the B.C. government will proactively release information requested through Freedom of Information (FOI). Information released through the FOI process will be posted on the new Open Information website (www.openinfo.gov.bc.ca) at least 72 hours and up to a maximum of five days after being released to the applicant.

 

Ministers’ and deputy ministers’ travel expenses will also be posted monthly to the Open Information website as these are items regularly requested and released through the FOI process.

 

To support these changes, the Premier and Members of the Executive Council have issued a direction to all ministries that outline how government will continue to build on its commitments.

 

“Together, these websites and the work behind them are an integral and necessary part of government delivering on our commitment to be more open and accessible,” said Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government Minister Stephanie Cadieux. “With today’s announcement we become national leaders and I assure you there’s more to come.”

 

To learn more, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca

 

Two backgrounders follow.

 

 

Contacts:

 

Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640

 

David Greer

Communications Director

Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government

250 208-4350

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 

 


 

BACKGROUNDER 1

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0089-000892

July 19, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government

 

 

 

 

Direction to Government from the Premier and Executive Council

 

Our government is changing the style and approach of governing to provide citizens with opportunities to influence and improve policies that impact them and their quality of life. Opening up government data and information are key foundations to enabling engagement with citizens by using new technologies to connect the public to government and to one another.

 

Making government data and information available online invites individuals and organizations to transform data and information into tools and applications that help individuals, institutions and communities; and to promote partnerships with government to create innovative solutions to the opportunities and challenges faced by British Columbians.

 

The following specific actions will ensure our government continues to build on the open data and open information tools launched today.

 

 

Open Data

1.      Ministries must take steps to expand public access to government data by making it available online unless restricted by law, contract or policy.

2.      Ministries must re-prioritize and expand data collection efforts towards those that enable citizens and sectors to create value from government data.

3.      Ministries must adopt B.C.’s open license for data and ensure data accessibility through DataBC in accordance with B.C.’s Open Data Policy, which includes the requirement that data be published in an open machine-readable format.

4.      DataBC must ensure that citizens can give feedback on and assessment of the quality of published information and provide input to which data should be prioritized for publication.

 

 

Open Information

1.      To the extent practicable and subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) and other valid restrictions, ministries should use modern technology to disseminate useful information in a routine way rather than waiting for specific requests under FOIPPA.


 

 

Ministers will be expected to provide quarterly reports to Cabinet on their progress in meeting these open government objectives.

 

Contacts:

 

Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640

 

David Greer

Communications Director

Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government

250 208-4350

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 

 


 

 

BACKGROUNDER 2

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0089-000892

July 19, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government

 

 

Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information

 

Context

 

The Government of B.C. encourages citizens to use and re-use information that is now accessible through DataBC, www.data.gov.bc.ca, and available under the following license. This innovative license makes information available freely and flexibly, with only a few conditions. Citizens can copy, publish and distribute the information, adapting the information to suit their needs and use it for commercial purposes.

 

The Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information was adapted from the UK Government’s Open Government License, with the permission of the UK National Archives. The full text of the license follows.

 

Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information

 

Using Information under this license

 

1.       Your use of any Information indicates your acceptance of the terms and conditions below.

 

2.       The Information Provider hereby grants you a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use the Information subject to the conditions below.

 

3.       This license does not affect any other copyright exceptions and limitations available under the Copyright Act (Canada).

 

You may ...

 

4.       You are free to:

a.             copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information;

b.             adapt the Information; and

c.              exploit the Information commercially, for example, by combining it with other Information or by including it in your own product or application.

 

You must ...

 

5.       If you do any of the above, you must:

a.             acknowledge the source of the Information

                                       i.                   by including the following attribution statement

“This information is provided by the Province of British Columbia under Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information v.BC1.0”, or

                                     ii.                   if you are using information from several sources, and multiple attributions are not practical in your product or application, consider referencing the “Province of British Columbia” and, where possible, providing a link to this license;

b.             ensure that you do not use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that the Information Provider endorses you or your use of the Information;

c.              ensure that you do not misrepresent the Information or its source; and

d.             ensure that your use of the Information does not breach or infringe any applicable laws.

 

6.       These are important conditions of this license and if you fail to comply with them the rights granted to you under this license, or any similar license granted by the Information Provider, will end automatically.

 

Exemptions

 

7.       Despite any rights granted herein, this license does not apply to the use of:

a.             Personal Information;

b.             information or Records that are not accessible pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (B.C.)

c.              third-party rights the Information Provider is not authorized to license; and

d.             Information subject to other intellectual property rights, including patents, trade-marks and official marks, and design rights.

 

No warranty

 

8.       The Information is licensed ‘as is’, and the Information Provider excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities, whether express or implied, in relation to the Information.

 

9.       The Information Provider is not liable for any errors or omissions in the Information and will not, under any circumstances, be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or other loss, injury or damage caused by its use, even if specifically advised of the possibility of such loss, injury or damage.

 

Governing Law

 

10.     This license is governed by the laws of British Columbia.


 

 

Definitions

 

11.     In this license, the terms below have the following meanings:

 

‘Information’
means information, data or a Record protected by copyright that is expressly made available under the terms of this license on or through the
DataBC website.

 

‘Information Provider’
means Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia.

 

‘Personal Information’
has the meaning set out in

Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (B.C.).

 

‘Record’
has the meaning set out in section 29 of the Interpretation Act (B.C.).

 

‘use’
as a verb, means doing any act that is restricted by copyright, whether in the original medium or in any other medium, and includes without limitation distributing, copying, adapting, modifying as may be technically necessary to use it in a different mode or format.

 

‘you’ or ‘your’
means the natural or legal person, or body of persons corporate or incorporate, as applicable, acquiring rights under this license.

 

About the Open Government License for B.C. Government Information

 

The Province of British Columbia wishes to use this license as a tool to enable the use and re-use of Information under a common open license. This license is based upon

UK Government’s Open Government License for Public Sector Information and has been adapted with the permission of the UK National Archives.

 

This is version 1.0 of the Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information.  The Province of British Columbia may, from time to time, issue new versions of the Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information.  However, you may continue to use Information licensed under this version should you wish to do so. Notices of new versions of the Open Government License for Government of B.C. Information will be posted at: DataBC


 

 

The Open Government License for B.C. Government Information is being launched in beta form because it is recognized that it can be developed and improved through further feedback from the public and other stakeholders, and the approach should be open to further testing after launch.

 

 

Contacts:

 

Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640

 

David Greer

Communications Director

Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government

250 208-4350

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect