The Interior Department became the latest government agency to open up some of its data to the public with the launch of a new data portal that maps and graphs the natural resource revenue the federal government receives from developing energy and mineral resources on public lands and waters.
The portal is currently in pilot stage, but according to Deborah Tschudy, the deputy director of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue, much more is to come as more data sets at the department become available.
“This interactive data portal offers a wealth of information to the public in a comprehensive and accessible fashion and is another step in our efforts to reform and modernize royalty revenue management by the department,” Sally Jewell, Interior Department secretary said in a release.
She added, “This new tool provides clarity and transparency on the revenues generated by energy development on public lands and waters — a significant source of financial support for local communities, states, tribes and the nation — and the department’s implementation of USEITI [the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative] upholds President Obama’s commitment to the principles of open government.”
Currently, the portal allows a user to view federal resource royalties by the sector of natural resources they come from and by location, and how the revenue is dispersed within the federal budget.
According to a release from the department, when the portal is fully developed, it will contain information from more than 550 companies that meet the $100,000 minimum payment threshold that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s Multistakeholder Group determined. In addition to adding data from other portions of the department and other parts of ONRR, royalty revenue will also be able to be viewed in the calendar year rather than the fiscal year.
To create the portal, the department provided the data sets to the General Services Administration’s 18F, who created the visual user interface that the public can interact with online.
As a whole, the development of the portal supports the U.S. portion of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative — an international transparency initiative that charges governments to work together to increase the amount of transparency around the management and accountability of revenues that comes from natural resources.
In March, the U.S. became the first G-7 country in the EITI to achieve “candidate country” status and earn “EITI implementing country” recognition, according to the release. Now, 48 countries are working to put EITI in place, according to the release.
The Interior Department did not respond to FedScoop’s requests for information regarding the portal’s cost to develop.