Tasmanian Government Open Data policy
The purpose of this Policy is to:
Data or information is open if it can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone, to the extent that its management, release and characteristics meet the principles outlined in this Policy. Open data should be both:
Establishing a culture of quality open data, and applying it from the time data is first generated or collected, has been shown to deliver benefits to communities and economies both in Australia and overseas.
This Policy aims to embed open data principles across the Tasmanian Government to help make appropriate government data available across agencies, the private sector and the general public. By embedding these principles, government can:
This Policy applies to all Tasmanian Government departments, as listed in the State Service Act 2000Schedule 1.
Open by design
To maximise use and reuse of data, agencies start from a position of data openness with the expectation in favour of data release, unless there is an overriding reason for not doing so.
Even where a dataset is incomplete, releasing the data is favoured, provided sufficient context and metadata is included to notify the user of any limitations or gaps in the dataset.
Protected where required
Datasets may be made available unless access is restricted for reasons of privacy, public safety, security, law enforcement, public health and compliance with the law.
Consistent with Schedule 1 of the Right to Information Act – matters relevant to the assessment of public interest, data should not be released if the potential for harm outweighs mere interest in disclosure.
Free where appropriate
Data should be provided free of charge where appropriate, to:
Where it is not possible to provide data free of charge, or this is not suitable in the circumstances, data should be provided at a reasonable price. Factors affecting the pricing decision should include the public interest and the effect of other policy or legislative provisions, as determined by the custodian agency.
The following datasets should be prioritised for release in order to enable discovery and innovative use by individuals or organisations:
Data should be easily discoverable and searchable (on a central portal), with quality metadata. Data should be made available, as far as possible, at permanent internet addresses, so it may be easily referenced or linked.
Data should be in a format that makes it easy to use, transform and reuse. Commonly accepted open data standards, such as those proposed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), should be implemented as far as possible to enhance data usability. Characteristics that support data usability include:
Standard formats will support inter-agency sharing, data linking and federation of data portals across Australian and international jurisdictions. Datasets should be designed to allow connection and linking between multiple public sector agencies, so far as this is practical.
Standardised metadata provides descriptive and contextual information that makes the dataset understandable and more useful. This is particularly important when publishing raw data, which may be difficult to use or interpret without explanation.
Data should be published as collected at the source where practical to do so, with the highest level of granularity possible, minimising use of aggregations and modifications. However, data should not be published that would contravene the Protected where required principle.
Data should be current and, if practicable, live – with real-time feeds provided as appropriate and where this enhances the utility of the dataset.
Datasets should include timestamps or other information for users to identify the currency of the data, and where newer replacement data becomes available agencies must aim to make this available to users in a timely manner.
Trusted and authoritative
Data must be well managed to help ensure its ongoing integrity and efficacy for users, for example protected from unauthorised alteration or deletion in accordance with agency policies. Appropriate data governance arrangements must be established and data must be maintained in accordance with the Tasmanian Government’s information management principles.
It is important for users to have confidence that the data they are accessing is trustworthy and authoritative, and where there are limitations in regard to a dataset, or a dataset is incomplete, users will be alerted accordingly.
Least restrictive licensing
The Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL) is endorsed for use by Tasmanian Government agencies. Selection of the least restrictive AusGOAL endorsed licences (including Creative Commons) appropriate to the material being published, will support inter-agency sharing, data linking and federation of data portals across Australian and international jurisdictions.
Open data should facilitate engagement and collaboration between the government, private sector and the public, with the potential for new online and mobile applications to be developed to make further use of open datasets.
Authorisation of this Policy
Monitoring progress of Policy implementation
Maintenance of this Policy document
Data portal implementation and maintenance