Top on my reading list at present is An API Strategy for the U.S. Government. The idea of not having to assemble by hand the code to download, transform, and load into a local database is frankly a welcome one. The higher level the process to acquire data, the quicker and more cheaply reports can be created. The more consistent the APIs used will also have a similar effect on cost and speed. 

The problem with the idea of APIs is the flip side of their strength. By being black boxes, you have to trust that the code is honest and that is a fundamentally unamerican idea. The country was founded on the idea of mistrusting government and the whole system from the Federal government down to elected county clerks and municipal judges is fundamentally anti-trust. It’s all about checks and balances and there is no reason to break from the tradition just because those asking to be trusted are technologists.