Host of “Last Week Tonight” John Oliver with a stack of IRS nonprofit tax returns.
In recent years, the federal government has taken strides towards making its public data available in standardized, machine-readable formats. In the future, we will look back at the nation’s first open data mandate, the DATA Act of 2014, and see it was critical not just in its transformation of federal spending information into open data, but also in its role as an archetype for a larger, government-wide transformation.
Today, untold stores of valuable public data, across many different government domains, are buried within non-searchable documents. There is much work to be done in chipping away at antiquated policies and procedures keeping this information from light. Transforming it all into open data will take years of acts of Congress, new infrastructure, and strong leadership within the executive branch.
But there are some places where much quicker change now seems possible. The Internal Revenue Service’s Form 990 is one of these. For Form 990, everything seemed to change in the single month of June, 2015.
Read the full post: In the fight for open nonprofit data, everything changed in one month