Cyprus Mail

Bottom of ‘open data’ index

CYPRUS ranks bottom of 70 countries in the open data index which classes countries based on the availability and accessibility of information in ten key areas.

The index was published by the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The areas in which Cyprus lags behind in accessibility of information are government spending, election results, transport timetables, and pollution levels.

It say while some progress was being made, much remained to be done.

The UK and United States (US) top the 2013 Index, which is a result of community-based surveys in 70 countries. They are followed by Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. Of the countries assessed, Cyprus, St Kitts & Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, Kenya and Burkina Faso ranked lowest.

“There are many countries where governments are less open but were not assessed because of the lack of openness, or a sufficiently engaged civil society,” the Open Knowledge Foundation said in a statement.

This includes 30 countries who are members of the Open Government Partnership.

Rufus Pollock, Founder and CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation said:

“Opening up government data drives democracy, accountability and innovation. It enables citizens to know and exercise their rights, and it brings benefits across society: from transport, to education and health. There has been a welcome increase in support for open data from governments in the last few years, but this index reveals that too much valuable information is still unavailable.”

Pollock added that the UK and US are leaders on open government data but even they have room for improvement: the US for example does not provide a single consolidated and open register of corporations, while the UK Electoral Commission lets down the UK’s good overall performance by not allowing open reuse of UK election data.

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