In the Netherlands a first step is made with open data of municipalities to better understand the functioning of local democracy. With releasing meetings, agenda’s and other documents of local municipalities as open data, five Dutch municipal councils make re-use of this data possible.
The municipalities Amstelveen, Den Helder, Heerde, Old IJsselstreek and Utrecht are the first five municipalities in the Netherlands that release meetings minutes, agenda’s and other relevant documents as open data. This is the outcome of a pilot done by Open State Foundation with the Ministry of Interior, the Association of Municipalities and the clerks of these five municipalities. This is an important step to make local politics transparent and accessible to citizens, journalists and councillors.
In the documents of local councils you can find a wealth of information. Online information from municipal councils, however, are hard to find, analyse and re-use. Residents, councillors, journalists and others who want to follow local politics need more accessible and easily usable applications. They should be better served by open council information.
The pilot yielded new insights to improve open council information and to scale up the release of data. Recommendations are described in a report by Open State Foundation which today is offered to the Association of Municipalities in the Netherlands.