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West Australia announces Open Data Policy

Data as an important strategic asset

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Western Australia launches its first whole of government Open Data Policy.

The Open Data Policy was announced as a key reform to drive innovation and to support WA’s growing information and communications technology sector.

In announcing the policy, the Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett, Finance Minister Bill Marmion and Lands Minister Terry Redman said it would improve the management and use of public sector data to deliver better value and benefits for all West Australians.

“WA has a proud history of competing internationally by building on our resources,” the Premier said. “To help maintain this competitive edge, the State Government is supporting innovation and technological development”, the Premier added.

The Open Data policy recognises data as an important strategic asset of significant potential value to the public sector, community and economy.

“In the past, only a limited amount of this data has been released, often in ways that are not easily accessible or useable by the public. This approach has resulted in data being a relatively underutilised resource – this is a significant missed opportunity”, declares the policy.

The Open Data Policy identifies five principles of best practice for open data:

    1. Open by default
    2. Easily discoverable
    3. Usable
    4. Protected where required
    5. Timely

Under the policy, all data will be made accessible at the WA Data Portal, administered by Landgate.

The Open Data Policy applies to all Public Sector Management Act 1994 agencies, plus agencies such as government enterprises, universities, local government, courts and tribunals, and government consultants, contractors and grant recipients, amd applies to all new data collection and creation, system development and any modernisation projects that update or re-design existing data systems.

The policy was formally launched at GovHack 2015, a government-supported open data event to create new apps that add value to government data.

Read the West Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy.

Access the WA Data Portal.