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G8 presidency holder Russia to propose open data initiatives

January 15, 2014, 22:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The G8, which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, signed the Open Data Charter on Britain’s initiative in June 2013
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© EPA/TIM BRAKEMEIER

MOSCOW, January 15, 21:34 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia, which assumed the presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) largest economies on January 1, 2014, plans to develop principles outlined in the Open Data Charter in the sphere of society’s access to economic, scientific and life safety information, a government commission official said Wednesday.

The G8, which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, signed the Open Data Charter on Britain’s initiative in June 2013. The document stipulates public disclosure of government data on the Internet and contains recommendations regarding the form of such disclosure.

“We would like to support the general subject of the Russian presidency, putting an emphasis on openness of state data,” Yekaterina Shapochka, a member of the government commission coordinating the activity of Russia’s Open Government initiative, told an Itar-Tass correspondent on the sidelines of the Gaidar Forum, one of the country’s major economic conferences.

The discussion agenda also includes risk management and stable development, Shapochka said.

She said the principle of data disclosure “includes processes, structures and principles.”

“That is why we would like to develop our topics also in the field of making state administration processes more open, which, first and foremost, refers to state procurement and investment,” Shapochka said. “These are processes which, on condition of openness, may produce the biggest effect, in my opinion.”

Other initiatives being put forward by Russia include increasing the transparency of scientific research, particularly state-funded, she said.

The Open Government initiative Shapochka’s commission is in charge of is a new system of mechanisms and principles ensuring effective cooperation between the authorities, experts and civil society structures. Its aim is to involve more people with different viewpoints in the effort to collect and analyze information, discuss and work out decisions.

The Gaidar Forum, which this year is being held on January 15-18, is one of the major annual international scientific economic conferences in Russia. The forum was established in 2010 in memory of Yegor Gaidar, a leading Russian economist and architect of Russia’s reforms of the early 1990s, who died in 2009.

The 2014 forum is dedicated to sustainable development. Entitled Russia and the World: Sustainable Development, the event is focusing on such top priority issues as economic growth in the context of global transformations, its potential and effective management and risks associated with innovative entrepreneurship and resource-based economies.

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