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Ministry of Economy and Innovation: Increased data availability and re-use could save over €4 million in public money

Date

2023 12 06

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Today, the Government approved a draft law prepared by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation to increase data availability and re-use. This would increase the efficiency of public and municipal corporations and limited liability companies and save more than €4 million in public funds. 

"The implementation of the amendments to the law will benefit the state, businesses and citizens alike. The wider availability of data would stimulate business development and support the creation of new and development of existing electronic public services and products. According to the calculations of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, the implementation of the bill could save the public sector up to €2.3 million in 2025 and up to €4.2 million in 2026," said Minister of the Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė.

The amendments would bring more state and municipal public service providers under the law. By 2023, there will be 274 limited liability companies and joint stock companies owned by the state or a municipality. 

180 such companies are already covered by the Act, i.e. providers of gas and heat, electricity and energy, water management, transport services, ports and airports, postal services, oil and gas extraction, exploration or extraction of coal or other solid fuels, public passenger transport and air transport services. 

The amendment therefore affects 94 companies in which the State or a municipality has a direct or indirect shareholding and which provide public services in other sectors (e.g. INVEGA). 

With the adoption of the amendments to the Law, the data held by these 94 companies would be inventoried and made available for re-use on the Lithuanian Open Data Portal, and users would be able to submit requests on the portal to open the companies' data sets. This would ensure the use of information that is an important raw material for the creation and development of digital content products and e-services.

The draft law also clarifies the provision on the opening of high-value data sets. According to a regulation published by the European Commission, high-value data must be opened by EU member states by 9 June 2024.

"The Ministry estimates that the size of the open data market in Lithuania could reach €125 million in 2025 and €285 million in 2026. Therefore, by opening data, we would create even more opportunities for businesses to grow and recruit new and skilled workers. The impact of open data would increase employment in Lithuania by 0.72 per cent in 2025 and 0.90 per cent in 2026," said Erika Kuročkina, Deputy Minister of the Economy and Innovation.

High-value data is divided into 6 thematic categories: geospatial data, earth observation and environmental data, meteorological data, statistical data, data on businesses and business ownership, and mobility data. 

The law on access to information and re-use of data has yet to be adopted by Parliament.