Dear Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings,

We, the undersigned businesses, industry groups, civil society organizations, and transparency  advocates, write to express our strong support for the  bipartisan Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (H.R. 5051). This bill would establish a comprehensive policy across the federal government to ensure that government data is accessible to the public by default.

In recent years, open data—data that is made freely available to use without restrictions—has proven to be an enormously effective platform for innovation in both the public and private sectors, supporting significant economic value, increasing transparency, efficiency, and accountability in government operations, and powering new tools and services that address some of the country’s most pressing economic and social challenges.

The OPEN Government Data Act would require federal agencies to publish government data in machine-readable and open formats and use open licenses. In addition, it would direct agencies to support innovative uses of government data, adopt consistent data practices across government, and develop best practices for open data.

We support the OPEN Government Data Act for several reasons. First and foremost, this legislation would institutionalize the federal government’s commitment to open data and allow the United States to remain a world leader on open data. Second, adopting a policy of open by default for government data would ensure that the value of this public resource would continue to grow as the government unlocks and creates new data sets. Third, a firm commitment to providing open data as a public resource would encourage businesses, non-profits, and others to invest in innovative tools that make use of government data.

Given the many benefits of this legislation, as well as the broad industry and public support for open data, we respectfully ask Congress to take quick action on this bill.


Amazon Web Services

American Library Association

American Statistical Association


Association of Public Data Users

Association of Research Libraries

Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending

Dissent Foundation

CA Technologies

Center for Data Innovation

Center for Open Data Enterprise

Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness


Consumer Technology Association

Council of Professional Associations on Federal


Data Coalition

Demand Progress

Elder Research, Inc.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EMC Corporation



Government Accountability Project

Information Unlimited Inc. (IUI)

Institute for Healthy Air, Water, and Soil

Internet Infrastructure Coalition

Massive Connections, LLC

New America’s Open Technology Institute

Niskanen Center


Object Management Group, Inc.


Population Association of America/Association

of Population Centers

Project On

Government Oversight (POGO)

R Street Institute


Semantic Arts, Inc.



Splunk Inc.

Sunlight Foundation

Taxpayers for Common Sense

The Foundation for Earth Science


U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation

U.S. Open Data

Featured Publications