The government creates and shapes the role of its Chief Data Officer (CDO)

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The government creates and shapes the role of its Chief Data Officer (CDO)


The digital transformation of the State requires a strategic policy for data. The data produced and used by the government administrations is a key resource to vitalize democracy (through transparency and consultation), to stimulate economic and social innovation, and to improve the functioning of the State (cooperation between ministries, better management of public policies…). A smart government must rely on data to be more efficient.

Today, as digital data increasingly appears to be a cornerstone of the digital revolution, the massive data produced and held by the State call for engagements greater than the sole opening of data as it is originally produced, and allow for many new possible innovations. A wider access to better quality data will help encourage the entire society to create value and provide new digital services useful to all citizens.

This is the reason for which the French Government has decided – as an increasing number of companies and big cities have done – to create the position of « Chief Data Officer»  (CDO) at the national levelAdministrateur Général des Données » (AGD)). Following the announcement in May, the Prime Minister’s official decree creating and shaping the role of the CDO has been published today.

The CDO will work under the authority of the Prime Minister, as part of the Secrétariat general pour la modernisation de l’action publique (SGMAP) (General Secretariat for the Modernization of Public Action).


The State CDO will contribute to the quality of the data produced by the State, will facilitate its circulation among administrations, researchers, companies and citizens, and will be implicated in the creation of essential data. Furthermore, he will be in charge of stimulating the dissemination of new data-based decision methods within the administration: Big Data approaches, optimized allocation of public resources…

More specifically, the CDO is in charge of the coordination of administrative actions, with respect to inventories, governance, production, circulation and exploitation of data by administrations. He is also in charge of organizing its circulation, while respecting the protection of privacy and secrets as defined by the law. Finally, he shall propose to the Prime Minister official guidelines for international negotiations concerning data policies.

He may request from administrations that they hand over the inventory of the data they produce, receive, or collect. He shall hand in to the Prime Minister a yearly report on the inventory, the governance, the production, the dissemination and the use of data by administrations. Finally, he is authorized to conduct experimentations on the use of data, to reinforce the efficiency of public policies, to contribute to a better management of public spending and resources, and to improve the quality of public services provided to citizens.

Click here to read the official decree.

À propos de l'auteur:

Service du Premier Ministre chargé de l'ouverture des données publiques et du développement de la plateforme française



Service du Premier ministre, au sein de la Direction interministérielle du numérique et du système d'information et de communication de l'Etat , en charge de l'ouverture des données publiques et du gouvernement ouvert


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