GSA: Open data is access and accessibility

Open government is more than access to data — it’s also accessibility to data. In other words, dumping information on a website is useless if the users cannot quickly understand what the information means for them.

This accessibility can be a key factor in an agency’s public image, said General Services Administration digital government specialist Sheila Campbell in an interview with NextGov.

“People assume, rightly or wrongly, that your website is a reflection of your organization,” Campbell said in the NextGov article.

In a FedScoop event last week, GSA Administrator Dave McClure described information as “self-service.”

According to a FedScoop article, McClure said information people want should be within one click away from the agency’s homepage. He also noted the prevalence of social media and agencies’ need to have a two-way dialogue with users. Agencies should also try hard to avoid the “acronym gazoo” of government, McClure said in the FedScoop article.