Agencies should design their websites and online tools to facilitate interoperability and re-use by other agencies and external developers. Improving the interoperability of online datasets with other information and tools from inside and outside the government multiplies the value of agency websites by enabling mashups and innovative applications. Agencies should also facilitate re-use by publishing in open machine-readable formats such as XML, offering bulk downloads and APIs, publishing data dictionaries, and following good copyright practices to minimize restrictions. Agencies should seek when possible to use free and open source software (FOSS) for websites and online tools, and release source code developed by the agency, so other agencies and external developers can easily replicate or interoperate with the product.
This idea was submitted by OMB Watch. See our full suggestions for improving federal websites: http://ombwatch.org/node/11838