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There are some pretty significant benefits to the Open Government model if you’re interested in travel expenses and similar information (e.g., other information that we release under what we call Proactive Disclosure (contracts over $10,000, acts of wrongdoing, grants and contributions, hospitality expenses)). One, it’s much easier for people to search from one place than to visit every departmental website. Two, it’s going hand-in-hand with standardization of terms and formats, which means it’s far easier to hold the government accountable and compare these disclosures between years and institutions.

Plus, the centralization and standardization of Proactive Disclosures is just one part of the larger Open Government initiative. It’s also a push to release government data and information, much of which wasn’t publicly available before. In 2014 we enacted an Open Government Directive that puts all data and information held by the Government of Canada in scope, with exceptions only for privacy, confidentiality, and security [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=28108]. Budgets and Expenditures were another area that saw major releases in the last few years, which included interactive tools to help Canadians understand the data. The Government of Canada has also committed to open access to publications and data resulting from federally funded scientific activities.

And the above is only a quick summary of six of the twelve commitments from the Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16, and we’ll be establishing an Action Plan 2016-18 that continues in this direction. We’ll be engaging with the public on that Action Plan in the winter/spring, and if you have concerns - or suggestions for how to make the Open Government idea more valuable for Canadians - we’d honestly love to hear them. You can join our mailing list [http://open.canada.ca/en/forms/receive-open-government-email-form] to be notified when those opportunities are open, and you can email us [open-ouvert@tbs-sct.gc.ca] or comment on open.canada.ca at any time.


The open-ouvert team

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