The many shades of Public Sector Information; Organizing PSI in a European Perspective

H. Koerten, M.B. Veenswijk, J. Poot

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review


The success of Google Maps suggests that free access to public sector
information (PSI) contributes to a prosperous economy. While there has
been considerable attention for legal and economical considerations
concerning the implications of policies on public sector information (PSI),
also labeled as open data (OD), organizational consequences regarding the
nature and shape of the public sector are hardly anticipated. We focus on
organizational settings by comparing policies and outcomes of PSI reuse in
EU member states and are looking into distinct market sectors within the
European realm by making analyses of both a Dutch national case and a
cross-national case.
In many discussions on PSI reuse, government is treated as a unitary
phenomenon with a single voice. We found considerable differences among
EU member states concerning the implementation of PSI policies and that
there are indications that they are connected to the nature of the public sector
in a specific state. Furthermore, we discovered that where specific actions
stimulate the creation of arenas of opportunity with both public and private
parties gathered around a specific information theme, new innovative
arrangements emerge. Therefore we suggest that policies on PSI reuse to
stimulate economic prosperity should be aimed at creating arenas of public
and private organizations gathered around specific PSI themes. This will
stimulate PSB organizations to engage actively in arrangements with
multiple private organizations to develop new forms of reuse. When national
government develops policies aimed simply at disclosing PSI without paying
attention to the development of PSI reuse arenas, it runs the risk of
unleashing narratives of control within the public sector, preventing them
from releasing the innovative potential that PSI reuse intrinsically has.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHarlow
PublisherPearson Education Limited
Number of pages120
ISBN (Print)9781783993222
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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