Information Commissioner releases UNSW Law research report on global Open Data enablers

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Ms Elizabeth Tydd, NSW Information Commissioner, CEO of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC), and NSW Open Data Advocate, today released a groundbreaking independent research report, Conditions Enabling Open Data and Promoting a Data Sharing Culture 2017, as part of a series of initiatives to mark Information Awareness Month.

View the Report here.

“Opening data is an impactful, contemporary approach to opening government,” said Ms Tydd. “Access to information promotes effective and accountable government and enables meaningful public participation.

“The first of its kind in Australia, the research demonstrates how Open Data is being achieved internationally through an examination of leading jurisdictions. The research acknowledges NSW’s progress and, importantly, offers new and significant insights to inform our approach to opening up valuable NSW data resources.”

Commissioned by the IPC, the Report summarises high level, independent research undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of experts from the University of NSW identifying six ‘enablers’ that are used in leading Open Data countries to promote and support Open Data and a culture of data sharing in broad information management regimes.

The research assesses Open Data from across five international jurisdictions – the UK, US, France, Canada and New Zealand – and provides practical examples of enablers that could be considered in NSW such as:

  • Adopting the International Open Data Charter (‘leadership’ enabler).
  • Improve collaboration with the broader community around a range of potential issues using concepts such as New Zealand's ‘Social License’ (‘culture and collaboration’ enabler).
  • Include an anticipatory regulatory approach that promotes Open Data, but ensures ongoing evaluation and assessment of security and privacy risks (‘regulatory’ enabler).
  • Publish a complete catalogue of all datasets, including datasets that are restricted (‘operational’ enabler).

“The research builds on a recent IPC community attitudes survey which found strong support for Open Data in NSW: 83 per cent of respondents agreed that de-identified information should be used to inform the planning and delivery of government services and enhance collaboration with the public in the development of government policies,” said Ms Tydd.

The research was guided by a steering committee comprising NSW agencies and experts, including the Data Analytics Centre, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Data61, the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation and the Department of Justice. 

Ms Tydd is available for interviews to discuss the outcomes of the Report – contact 0435 961 691. 

For more information on the IPC and to view the Report, visit www.ipc.nsw.gov.au