Recognising the importance of government transparency and open data, the Ministry of Transport and Communications launched the Qatar Open Data Portal in a ceremony held in Doha on Sunday.
HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed al-Sulaiti led the launching rites in the presence of Planning and Statistics Authority chairman Dr Saleh bin Mohamed al-Nabet and Administrative Control and Transparency Authority chairman Hamad bin Nasser bin Rashid al-Misned al-Mohannadi.
“The Ministry of Transport and Communications launched the Open Data Policy in 2014 to achieve the objectives of national development and Qatar National Vision 2030. The aim is to provide public services efficiently and transparently, build the knowledge-based economy, and boost innovation and creativity through an open and transparent culture where knowledge is available and accessible,” al-Sulaiti said in a speech.
“In light of our work toward building a smart nation and our commitment to raising the name of Qatar in all global rankings where government transparency is a key factor, I am pleased to launch the Qatar Open Data Portal, which will be a gateway to government data, making information easy to access, share, and reuse. This will help transform these data and information into tools and applications that help in areas of research, innovation and creative and smart solutions,” the minister continued.
According to al-Sulaiti, it was important to release data and make it open “given the social and business value of doing so, because data is a fundamental resource for the knowledge society that we aspire to and one of the powerful catalysts for trade progress and economic growth.”
The minister lauded the Ministry of Interior (MoI) initiative in the field of open data, and efforts of the Ministry of Finance and the Planning and Statistics Authority, which took the lead and began sharing their data via the new portal.
Al-Sulaiti said he was confident that all government entities would join the portal soon to contribute to building a government that is more efficient, more open, and more transparent “for the good of all.”
MoTC assistant undersecretary for Information Technology Affairs Hassan Jassim al-Sayed said the MoTC launched the portal to publish government data online via a single national platform to streamline public access to data, while guaranteeing its quality by making it available in the right format, in line with global best practices.
“The success of this new portal requires government entities’ cooperation as MoTC will be responsible for managing the portal with a specialised team that will focus on supporting all government bodies to raise awareness and encourage them to upload their open data to the portal,” he said.
He added: “The MoTC will also continue to organise workshops for open data ambassadors in each government entity who have already been identified and to train them further on how to share their future executive plans as required at their entities.”
The launch event was followed by a panel discussion on insights and exchange of expertise among representatives from the MoI, Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Planning and Statistics Authority, and the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority.
Director of e-Government Programmes & Standards at MoTC Mashael Ali al-Hammadi said in the future countries would not be ranked as rich or poor but based on scales that focus on knowledge and information and to what extent they apply knowledge, research, development, and technology.