The importance of a data inventory


Governments have to have their information systems in order. This is necessary for the protection of privacy, the improvement of transparency and to get a proper archiving system in place. Unfortunately it is rare that governments are on top of their information systems. It is time for a change by creating an inventory of the data and integrating it with the existing archives and privacy registers.

How does one go about this process? There are already several tools that branches of the Dutch government as well as municipalities and provinces can use. For example, according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), governmental institutions are required to keep records of processing activities. In order to comply with the GDPR it is important to create an inventory of the data. Another tool that is available to governmental institutions is one that is prescribed by the Law on Public Records. According to this legislative act, governmental institutions are required to create an overview of their archives. This is not all, as the up-and-coming legislative act on open government will require governmental institutions to create an information register in order to improve transparency. Not only transparency for the government institutions, but also for society at large as journalists, citizens and NGO’s can provide feedback on these information registers and improve the registers, data and transparency.