The Veterans Affairs Handbook 0900: “Open Data – Managing Information as an Asset,” published by the VA’s Office of Enterprise Integration, Office of Data Governance and Analytics, provides comprehensive guidelines for managing and disseminating data assets within the Department of Veterans Affairs. It outlines the procedures for data collection and the importance of transparency and innovation through open data.

The handbook codifies in policy the Department’s Open Data Working Group (ODWG) and its relationship to the Data Governance Council. This handbook sets forth the roles and responsibilities of VA’s Chief Data Officer (CDO), Open Data Lead, ODWG, and the Open Data Liaisons and Data Stewards in Administrations and Staff Offices. The document reflects the VA’s commitment to evidence-based policymaking, in compliance with federal mandates like the Evidence Act and OMB guidelines, which call for each Federal agency to manage data as a strategic asset and make its data holdings available to the public without compromising privacy and security or VA standards.

The handbook emphasizes the need for machine-readable data formats and metadata standards to facilitate public access and interoperability. It also addresses privacy and security considerations, ensuring that data is shared responsibly. Overall, the handbook serves as a policy framework for the VA’s data governance, aiming to enhance public trust, modernize services, and inspire private sector innovation using VA’s data.

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