A broad coalition of civic organizations and journalists call upon the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament to support the Open Government Bill. In an open letter, signed today by 37 organizations, they write that the old Freedom of Information Act (Wob) needs to be replaced. A government with a good working information and record system, including a public information registry, does not only save the government time and money, but also benefits the entire society.
For better public sector information
The new Open Government Bill promotes active openness and benefits the information position of citizens, companies, interest groups, journalists and governments. According to the organizations public sector information that is shared pro-actively will be easier to find, exchange, publish and archive. It also increases the quality of information.
The lack of transparency between governments causes financial risks. Actively publishing information through a register saves government money. For economic development and innovation the availability of public sector information, in the form of accessible and re-usable open data, is vital.
Strenghtening the information position
The gap between voters and politicians, citizens and local government, entrepreneurs and government institutions can be bridged when citizens have a stronger information. An effective government is a government that can be held accountable. Journalist and civic organizations play an important role when it comes to accountability.
The Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament has been talking about modernizing the old Freedom of information act for four years. With this letter the organizations hope that the political parties will support the new Open Government Bill. The Second Chamber will have their vote on Tuesday April 19th.
Open State Foundation (Arjan El Fassed), Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Frits van Exter), Genootschap van Hoofdredacteuren (Marcel Gelauff), Vereniging van Onderzoeksjournalisten (Evert de Vos, Tanja van Bergen), Vereniging Online Journalisten Nederland (Stephan Okhuijsen), NDP Nieuwsmedia (Herman Wolswinkel), Transparency International Nederland (Anne Scheltema Beduin), Persvrijheidfonds (Marjan Enzlin, Thomas Bruning), Hivos (Edwin Huizing), Bits of Freedom (Hans de Zwart), Kennisland (Paul Keller), Free Press Unlimited (Leon Willems), Waag Society (Marleen Stikker), Oxfam Novib (Tom van der Lee), Nu.nl (Gert-Jaap Hoekman), Stichting OpenGeo (Stefan de Konink), Internet Society Nederland (Frank Kresin), Big Wobber (Brenno de Winter), Cordaid (Simone Filippini), Freedom Inc. (Rejo Zenger), Landelijk Samenwerkingsverband Actieve bewoners (Ties de Ruijter), Setup Media Lab (Jelle van der Ster), Centrum voor Budgetmonitoring (Martijn Kool), Open Archieven (Bob Coret), Stichting Petities.nl (Reinder Rustema), Instituut Maatschappelijke Innovatie (Guido Enthoven), De Coöperatie (Teun Gautier), Netwerk Democratie (Mieke van Heeswijk, Josien Pieterse), Argu (Joep Meinderstma), LocalFocus (Jelle Kamsma, Yordi Dam), Stichting OpenSource en Overheid (Lennart Huizing), MAD emergent art center (René Paré), Civity (Arjen Hof), The Green Land (Ton Zijlstra), DataOpeners (Caroline Kroon), Plannerstack (Michel Boerrigter), Datagraver, Sargasso.nl (Stephan Okhuijsen), Stichting Dat Zou Jij Wel Willen Weten (Sebastiaan Ter Burg), ReisRecht (Marinus Hoorntje), Justice and Peace (Sebastiaan van der Zwaan), Avko (Josje Spierings).