Todd Park calls for new panel to help liberate government data

Joseph Marks | NextGov | May 26, 2012

Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park called on the White House’s team of science and technology advisers Friday to create a special subcommittee to advise his office on projects to disseminate government data to private sector developers and entrepreneurs. Park envisions the subcommittee of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology operating similar to a corporate board, he told PCAST, with members from inside and outside the council offering insights from their fields.

PCAST co-chairman Eric Lander endorsed the subcommittee idea. Lander is director of the Broad Institute, a joint initiative of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aimed at using genetic and biological research to transform medical practices. Park’s office is leading numerous projects such as code-a-thons, aimed at turning government-gathered data into new products and services, and “data paloozas,” focused on showcasing those new products.

The initiatives will be aided by the White House’s new Digital Strategy, which calls on agencies to make as much data as possible public and machine-readable through application programming interfaces -- APIs -- and other tools.