POLICY ON THE USE OF OPEN GOVERNMENT DATA

The Open Data Portal (“the Portal”) of the Government of Bahrain (“the Government”), available through www.data.gov.bh, provides all interested parties with easy access to a wealth of official non‑sensitive/non‑confidential/public data (the “Data”). Such Data is sourced, by the Information & eGovernment Authority (“iGA”), from all Government entities (the “Entities” or “Entity”) based on their specific roles and responsibilities, and is made available through the Portal using several formats, including raw data  and graphical representations. 

Whilst the iGA shall spare no effort in enriching the Portal with up-to-date Data and statistics, use of the Data must adhere to, and governed by, a number of principles to ensure the Portal serves its overarching objectives and facilitates the dissemination of Data in line with Bahrain Government’s strategy. As such, the following Policy Principles shall be observed at all times:

 

1.    Availability of non‑sensitive/non‑confidential/public data

  • The Government is committed to make non‑sensitive/non‑confidential/public data open by default to support innovation and productivity improvements across all major sectors in Bahrain.
  • Where ever possible, the Government shall ensure free, easy to use, high quality and reliable data in various formats.
  • The Government shall uphold the highest standards of security and privacy for the individual, commercial and national data.
  • The Government shall build strategic partnerships with the public, private and research institutions and leverage public data for the social and  economic benefit of the constituents of Bahrain.

2.    There shall be no restrictions on the use of the Data

  • The Data shall be offered with no restrictions on use, re-use, dissemination, or publication thereof.
  • Data made available on the Portal shall have no expiry or other conditions affecting its validity.

3.    Access to the Data shall be simple and straightforward

  • The Portal shall be easy to use and intuitively, in order to improve the user experience, shorten the time required to find Data, and lower the learning curve required to build analytics using the Portal.
  • The Portal shall use open formats and be standards-based to enable wider compliance with prevalent practices, including those set by the W3C for readability and accessibility.

4.    The Portal shall be updated in a timely fashion

        Data shall be uploaded to the Portal as soon as it is received by the iGA. The
        iGA shall put in place the necessary mechanisms to automate this process as
        much as possible to facilitate timely availability of Data to the public.

5.    The Data formats used shall be open

       All Data published on the Portal shall be easily and readily usable using prevalent
       open formats, including without limitation, comma-separated values (CSV), 
       tabulation, open database connectivity (ODBC), and other formats the iGA deems
       appropriate to facilitate asier use and manipulation by end users.

6.    There shall be very little to no analysis made to the Data

       The Data shall be provided in a raw format with no analysis made. This shall not
       prevent the iGA displaying such Data on the Portal using graphical means, but any
       analysis shall be solely made by end-users.

7.    Use of the Data shall adhere to the principles of scientific research

  • The Portal’s Terms of Use shall be observed at all times, and in particular the conditions of citing Data sources must be upheld by all parties, including end-users.
  • The Data shall belong, at all times, and without exception, to the Government of Bahrain, and be made available by the iGA in accordance with this Policy statement and the Portal’s Terms of Use document.

8.    Change to this Policy Statement

       The iGA may change this Policy statement from time-to-time. Such changes shall
       be notified through the Portal.

9.    Guidelines and Procedures

       These guidelines and procedures shall be followed by the Entities to ensure that
       the open data supports the growth of economy, improve service delivery and
       welfare of the society.

  • All public datasets must be considered open unless they contain information designated as sensitive, private, or confidential.
  • The Entities should use the following guidelines to select and prioritize their datasets for publication. For purposes of prioritizing public datasets, entities should consider whether information embodied in the public dataset:

                  -  Increases the Entities’ accountability and responsiveness.

                  -  Improves public knowledge of the Entity and its operations.

                  -  Responds to a need or demand identified by the public.

                  -  Furthers the mission of the Entity.

                  -  Creates economic opportunity.

  • The structure of published datasets must align to Kingdom of Bahrain Data sharing specifications, where they exist. The Entity may consult with the iGA regarding current specifications.
  • The Entities retain ownership over the datasets that they submit. All Data and datasets remain the property of the originating Entity and public users acquire no ownership rights to entity data or datasets.
  • The public datasets published on the Portal become a public resource available to anyone with access to the Internet. The public use of the datasets may include development of applications. In this case, the developers retain all intellectual property ownership in their applications, excluding the Entity data itself, whose ownership continues to reside with the Entity.
  • The Entities must create, publish, and maintain on the Portal accurate metadata for each public dataset as set forth in the Metadata standards specified by the iGA.
  • The Entities must ensure that each public dataset and associated metadata is kept current to the extent that the agency regularly maintains or operationally updates the public dataset.
  • All public datasets must be accessible to the public through the Portal and accessible to third-party (Internet-based) search engines. In any exceptional case in which for technical reasons it is not feasible to host a public dataset on the Portal itself, the Portal must provide a direct link to the public dataset that is hosted elsewhere. The Entity may self-host the public dataset, provided that the public dataset is accessible through the link on the Portal to the public and to third-party (Internet‑based) search engines.
  • In any exceptional case in which transaction volumes, data structure, technical barriers, or resource limitations prevent hosting a public dataset on the Portal itself, the Portal must provide a direct link to the public dataset that is hosted  elsewhere so that the dataset is accessible to the public through the Portal. In such an exceptional case, an entity may self-host the relevant public dataset, provided that the public dataset is accessible to the public through the link on the Portal according to following standards:

                 -   The entity must provide a single, unique, publicly accessible URL for each dataset along with the dataset-level metadata. This information will be
                      made available in the Portal’s catalog of datasets. It is strongly preferred  that the URL be the location of the dataset, and not an intermediate
                      web page;

                 -   The dataset must be machine-readable;

                 -  The dataset may be encapsulated in a single archive file (and optionally compressed) if it consists of multiple related files.

  • Entity datasets, including metadata, are not required to be published in additional languages beyond those used at their sources.
  •  Delivery of data from back-end systems to the Portal will take place though an architecture which permits de-coupling and enables a layer of  abstraction. This architecture leverages infrastructural investments and technical capabilities that  either already exist within entities or would require minimal effort to implement.
  • The entity datasets may contain the following data types:

         -   Numbers, Currency, and percentages;

         -   Dates/times (ISO-8601 preferred);

         -   Booleans(true/False);

         -   Email addresses;

                  -   URLs.

  • The Entity data values must not contain elements or markup used for presentation, nor should they contain interpreted or raw application sourc code. For example,

                 HTML formatting tags such as (a).         

  • Datasets published on the Portal must be maintained for accuracy, timeliness, and accessibility, as set forth below:

                 -    Entity representatives are responsible for identifying an update frequency for each public dataset as an element in its dataset metadata, and for
                      
ensuring that their dataset content updates are maintained and published according to the dataset’s identified schedule or to the extent that the 
                       agency regularly maintains or updates the public dataset.

                 -    Entity representatives must not modify existing data structure during normal updates to the dataset. The number of data elements per record,
                       name, format,and order of the data elements must be consistent with the originally-published version. The entity representatives should notify GA 
                       prior to any structuralchanges to datasets.

                 -    iGA will contact the entity representatives to obtain feedback or a direct answer to comments or inquiries from the public that relate to
                      dataset 
contents or supporting documentation. The entity will provide iGA with an expected timeframe to resolve the support inquiry as soon as 
                      possible. The entity must then notify iGA when the 
updates or corrections are ready for publication.

  • Data will be classified as follow:

                  -   Category I - Public Use:           This information is for general public use such as the Entity’s Website contents, press releases, and annual
                                                                        reports.

                  -   Category II - Internal Use:       Information not generally available to parties  outside the Entity, such as directory listings, minutes from non-
                                                                         confidential meetings, and  internal intranet websites. Public disclosure of the information would cause minimal
                                                                         trouble embarrassment to the Entity.

                  -   Category III - Sensitive:           This information is considered private and should be guarded from disclosure; disclosure of the information may
                                                                         contribute to financial fraud. Dsclosure may also violate the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

                  -   Category IV - Highly Sensitive: Data which must be protected with the highest levels of security, as prescribed in contractual and/or legal
                                                                         specifications.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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