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Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement
January 15, 2016


Australia’s capacity to remain competitive in the digital economy is contingent upon its ability to harness the value of data. Data volumes are growing exponentially and so too is the potential value of this data. Publishing, linking and sharing data can create opportunities that neither government nor business can currently envisage.

Publishing appropriately anonymised government data will stimulate innovation and enable economic outcomes.

Public Data Policy Statement

The data held by the Australian Government is a strategic national resource that holds considerable value for growing the economy, improving service delivery and transforming policy outcomes for the Nation.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of effectively managing this national resource for the benefit of the Australian people.

The Australian Government commits to optimise the use and reuse of public data; to release non sensitive data as open by default; and to collaborate with the private and research sectors to extend the value of public data for the benefit of the Australian public.

Public data includes all data collected by government entities for any purposes including; government administration, research or service delivery. Non-sensitive data is anonymised data that does not identify an individual or breach privacy or security requirements.

Australian Government entities will:

– make non-sensitive data open by default to contribute to greater innovation and productivity improvements across all sectors of the Australian economy;

– where possible, make data available with free, easy to use, high quality and reliable Application Programming Interfaces (APIs);

– make high-value data available for use by the public, industry and academia, in a manner that is enduring and frequently updated using high quality standards;

– where possible, ensure non-sensitive publicly funded research data is made open for use and reuse;

– only charge for specialised data services and, where possible, publish the resulting data open by default;

– build partnerships with the public, private and research sectors to build collective expertise and to find new ways to leverage public data for social and economic benefit;

– securely share data between Australian Government entities to improve efficiencies, and inform policy development and decision-making;

– engage openly with the States and Territories to share and integrate data to inform matters of importance to each jurisdiction and at the national level;

– uphold the highest standards of security and privacy for the individual, national security and commercial confidentiality; and

– ensure all new systems support discoverability, interoperability, data and information accessibility and cost-effective access to facilitate access to data.

At a minimum, Australian Government entities will publish appropriately anonymised government data by default:

– on or linked through for discoverability and availability; X in a machine-readable, spatially-enabled format;
– with high quality, easy to use and freely available API access;
– with descriptive metadata;

– using agreed open standards;
– kept up to date in an automated way; and
– under a Creative Commons By Attribution licence unless a clear case is made to the

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for another open licence.

Requests for access to public data can be made via or directly with the government entity that holds the data. If access to data is denied by an entity, users may appeal the decision using the public request functionality available through data.