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Website meant to boost records accessibility

November 17, 2012
The Maui News

The state Office of Information Practices has launched "to transform government and increase public accessibility to public records," according to a news release.

Instead of only responding to public requests for information, state agencies will be proactively posting data on the site. The move is part of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's overall open-data initiative.

State agencies have started to post information that can be read and transformed using software for spreadsheets, general summaries, charts, graphs and maps.

The website includes a wealth of state data on topics such as health care, public safety, transportation and education, OIP said.

The information is accessible by anyone, including other government agencies, nonprofits, researchers, businesses and individuals.

The idea is to allow interested users, agencies and private firms to take the data and transform it to find solutions to government or societal problems by making the information more accessible via websites and smartphone apps and in studies and projects.

Hawaii's website utilizes the same "open-government platform" as the federal government's That site has 445,000 data sets from 170 federal agencies to help produce 1,500 reports so far.

For example, the state noted how the site allowed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a smartphone app for product recalls or drug side-effect warnings.



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