Kenyan Minister Looks to Compel Publication of Data

17 December 2012

The minister responsible for Kenya’s open data portal says government agencies are failing to supply necessary data, according to a report by in The Sunday Nation.

“Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo told the Sunday Nation that the ministry was getting frustrated because of the low amount of data supplied by organizations,” according to the article by Charles Wokabi.

 “We are not getting data from organisations because they claim to own it, even those that have collected the data using taxpayers’ money. We are working on a Cabinet memo that would legally oblige these ministries and government agencies to provide data,” Ndemo is quoted as saying.

The fact that most government information is not digitized also presents a problem, according to the article. Records on the judiciary, land, health and the police have been given priority for digitization, another official said.

Launched two years ago, the portal had over 430 data sets, up from about 200 last year, the Sunday Nation reports.  “At its inception, the open data initiative was expected to set off a spirited boom in application development, but according to Dr Ndemo, only a few more of 50 new applications have come up based on the initiative.”

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