The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Making Act of 2018 ("Evidence Act"), signed into law on January 14, 2019, emphasizes collaboration and coordination to advance data and evidence-building functions in the Federal Government. The President’s Management Agenda emphasizes the need to leverage data as a strategic asset and calls for the development of a Federal Data Strategy to improve government operations and evidence-based policymaking.

The Evidence Act requires agencies to develop and maintain an Open Data Plan within each agency’s Strategic Information Resources Management Plan, describing the agency's efforts to make public data maintained by the government open to the public. 

The Open Data Plan shall be updated annually and made available through the agency's Strategic Information Resources Management Plan.  Per M-19-23 Phase 1 Implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) forthcoming Phase 2 guidance will provide agencies further guidance necessary to implement the Evidence Act's Open Data Plan requirement.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) will provide additional information and updates on the agency’s Open Data Plan following the issuance of the Phase 2 guidance by OMB.

Data Strategy
The FERC FY22-26 Strategic Plan identifies new challenges and opportunities for mission-related information and data initiatives.  FERC established within the Office of the Executive Director and Chief Information Officer Organization, the Data Governance Division and the Chief Data Officer (CDO) role to develop and implement a comprehensive data strategy, governance process and orchestrate shared data services across the Commission.  The CDO is required to report on and provide advice regarding data management and to provide a data architecture, defined as an integrated framework for evolving or maintaining existing data to achieve the agency’s strategic and data management goals. The Data Governance Division and CDO facilitates better use of data and data-driven decision-making following a data governance model, in partnership with other FERC IT governance bodies, to make data stewardship decisions and manage or evaluate the performance of data projects and services.

FERC established and integrated its Data Strategy into the FERC IT and Resources Management Strategic Plan within the Goals of "Mission First" and "Drive Innovation".  Key data strategic objectives under each include 'Mature Data Stewardship' and 'Improve Data Driven Decision Making'.  Within the ‘Mature Data Stewardship’ objective, our focus is on managing our information collections program and ensuring an effective data management program, to include data standardization and managing our FERC data catalog, in accordance with the requirements of the Evidence Act and the Federal Data Strategy Agency Action Plan requirements.  Within the ‘Improve Data Driven Decision Making’ objective, key focus areas include implementing our data analytics capabilities against our roadmap and rolling out data science training across the Commission.  In accordance with guidance, FERC established our agency data page at where the public can find information about FERC’s Data Strategy. 

FERC Data Governance Working Group
In August 2019, FERC established its Data Governance Working Group (DGWG) to provide senior level decision-making on and oversight of FERC’s data management initiatives and to ensure compliance with the statutory and regulatory direction from Congress and other applicable federal oversight entities.

The Commission’s Chief Data Officer and Chief Information Officer serve as co-chairs of the DGWG. Membership of the data governance body, which meets monthly, includes representatives from all of FERC’s Program Offices.

Data Governance Working Group Charter
As of August 2019, FERC established its Agency Data Governance Body by chartering the FERC Data Governance Working Group (DGWG) and the Charter can be found at

As noted in its charter, the scope of the DGWG’s purview includes all FERC data, both structured and unstructured, throughout the data lifecycle from creation and initial storage, to the time it becomes obsolete and is deleted regardless of whether such data management is performed by government employees or contractors.

Comprehensive Data Inventory
Under the OPEN Government Data Act, which is Title II of the Evidence Act, agencies are required to create a comprehensive data inventory, or data catalog, that accounts for all data assets and data sets created by, collected by, under the control or direction of, or maintained by the agency.  In accordance with this requirement, the public can find FERC’s Public Data Catalog at

Data Catalogs are living tools and the FERC Public Data Catalog will be regularly updated as data assets and data sets continue to be identified, inventoried, and approved through our data governance process.  Every Program Office at the Commission has been tasked with identifying and inventorying their data assets and data sets using the FERC DGWG approved metadata standard, which includes a tag as to whether the data asset or data set can be released to the public.  This includes both new data as well as data that may already be in existence but is currently not inventoried.  Additionally, through strategic investment plans, FERC plans to evolve and mature its Comprehensive Data Inventory to a more robust tool that will improve automation, sharing, searchability, and collaboration on data assets and data sets within the Comprehensive Data Catalog.

Publishing high-value data sets that increase transparency and accountability is an important responsibility of the Commission.  The Commission ensures that the public has access to high-value data sets and continues to work to improve access to these data sets by making more data sets machine readable and improving the way that data can be accessed.  By maturing our implementation of the Open Data requirements, we intend to be responsive to the needs and demands of the public.

The intention of our Open Data Plan is to improve the Commission’s fulfillment of its strategic goals by putting mission first, driving innovation, and supporting our regulated entities and the public in their data responsibilities and needs. 

This page was last updated on May 13, 2022