News Ticker

West Australia drafts Open Data Policy

Data recognised as a strategic asset of significant value

blue sea coastline

The Western Australian Government has released a draft of its first Whole of Government Open Data Policy.

The Policy is the first of its kind for the Western Australian government, and aims to facilitate greater release of data to the public in ways that are appropriate, easily discoverable and re-usable.

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”, the draft policy states.

The Policy identifies five best practice principles for Open Data:

1. Open by default. Agencies are encouraged to adopt an “open by default” position, unless there is a clear need to restrict or preclude access. Wherever possible, data should be made available at no cost except where there are significant collection and maintenance costs, the data retains significant commercial value, or where legislative provision apply.

2. Easily discoverable. Data to be accessible at the WA Data Portal, a centralised dataset providing access to and information about open data in Western Australia

3. Usable. Data should be licenced under Creative Commons Attribution, under the Australian Government Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL).

4. Protected where required. Instances where data release may be restricted or precluded include reasons of privacy, security, confidentiality, legal privileged, public interest.

5. Timely. Data should be as up-to-date as possible , made available to users in a timely manner and clearly state the date of data and publishing. Where possible real-time data should be released as a live fee.

The policy will apply to all entities covered by the Public Sector Management Act 1994, and applies to all new data collection and creation, system development and any modernisation projects that update or re-design existing data systems.

To support implementation, the Policy, encourages agencies to develop their own agency-level open data policy, giving consideration to how they can collect or create data in a way that supports the open data principles the policy outlines.

Read the West Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy.