Procedures for Public Release of Data

Open Energy Data

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All Department of Energy (DOE) data owners should follow the procedures outlined below in preparing a data collection for public release.  Legislative requirements, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, and DOE directives related to data quality and data control are referenced in the procedures steps.

Step 1
Data owners and/or managers identify a data collection for possible public release.  The following initial reviews are performed at the Administration or Program Office level by data owners in conjunction with appropriate staff (classifiers, records managers, privacy managers, and General Counsel among others) to determine if the data collection is eligible for public release:

  • Data Security Review—Assess the data to ensure it is unclassified and not subject to data security controls.  Guidance includes:
    • DOE Order 471.1B, Identification and Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information;
    • DOE Order 471.6 Admin Change 1, Information Security;
    • DOE Order 475.2A, Identifying Classified Information.
  • Data Sensitivity Review—Assess the data to ensure it does not contain official use only information or personally identifiable information.  Guidance includes:
    • Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a;
    • DOE Order 206.1, Department of Energy Privacy Program;
    • DOE Order 471.3 Admin Change 1, Identifying and Protecting Official Use Only Information;
    • OMB Memo M-11-02, Sharing Data While Protecting Privacy, November 3, 2010.
  • Data Quality Review—Assess the data to ensure that it is high quality and appropriate sources identifying the information are provided.  Guidance includes:
    • Information Quality Act, Public Law No. 106-554, section 515;
    • Federal Register Volume 2, No. 67 at 8452, February 22, 2002, “Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies”;
    • DOE Order 414.1D Admin Change 1, Quality Assurance;
    • OMB Memo M-06-02, Improving Public Access to and Dissemination of  Government Information and Using the Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model, December 16, 2005.
  • Records Management Review—Assess the data to determine if it contains Departmental records and if those records are appropriately scheduled and inventoried.  Guidance includes:
    • DOE Order 243.1B, Records Management Program;
    • OMB Circular A-130, “Management of Federal Information Resources,” Section 8a.

Step 2
Once the Administration or Program Office reviews are complete, if the data collection is still assessed as publically releasable the data is submitted to the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) for Departmental Review. 

The Administration or Program Office prepares identifying information for the data collection (also known as the Common Core Metadata) and submits it to the OCIO. 

Mandatory metadata items include the following:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags (Keywords)
  • Last Update
  • Publisher
  • Contact Name
  • Contact Email
  • Unique Identifier (contact OCIO for number)
  • Public Access Level (Public, Restricted, Private)
  • Bureau Code (contact OCIO for approved codes)
  • Program Codes (contact OCIO for approved codes)

Additional required metadata items if they applicable to the data collection:

  • Access Level Comment (for Restricted and Private only)
  • Download URL (for all Public)
  • Endpoint (for data collections with API capability)
  • Format (i.e., CSV,  XLSX, API)
  • License
  • Spatial (geographic or location name)
  • Temporal (start and end dates of data applicability)

Data owners should contact the OCIO Open Data Lead for assistance in preparing and submitting a data collection for public release.

Step 3
Upon receipt of a data submission, the DOE OCIO lead for Open Data performs the following reviews:

  • Data Security Review—Assess the data to determine if use of the data in combination with other publically released data either from within DOE or across the Federal government would raise security concerns (otherwise known as the mosaic effect.)
  • Data Quality Review—Assess the data to ensure that all metadata information and source information is accurate and complete.

Step 4
Once the Departmental reviews are complete, if the data collection is still assessed as publically releasable the data is published on the DOE Public Data Listing.  Inclusion on the Public Data Listing establishes an automatic link to Data.gov making the data available to the public either from the DOE source website or the Data.gov website.