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

The NSW Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Tydd, today released a ground-breaking independent research report, Conditions Enabling Open Data and Promoting a Data Sharing Culture 2017as part of a series of initiatives to mark Information Awareness Month.

Commissioned by the Information and Privacy Commission NSW, the independent research was undertaken by a multidisciplinary team from the University of NSW. It identifies six enablers that are used in leading Open Data countries to promote and support Open Data and a culture of data sharing.

The research report provides contemporary practical international examples of these enablers and their influence on Open Data from five jurisdictions – the UK, US, France, Canada and New Zealand.

While NSW has already implemented progressive measures towards achieving Open Data, the report includes a set of insights in the form of six types of enablers identified in other jurisdictions that have been shown to have benefit and could be considered in NSW. These are categorised as:

  • Leadership – The leadership enabler incentivises and sets the tone for open government and open data.

  • Legislation – Legislative enablers provide a directive framework from government setting rights and responsibilities.

  • Policy – The policy enabler provides a direction or principle for action and decision making to meet defined objectives. The objectives may be achieved in a variety of ways tailored to a department’s or agency’s environment. In the context of government data, policies may be directed at specific datasets such as geo-spatial data, or at datasets with certain attributes, and such as datasets containing personal information which require de-identification of the information prior to release.

  • Regulatory – The regulatory enabler provides authoritative and enforceable rules with an expectation of compliance to prevent harms or improve outcomes.

  • Culture and collaboration – includes actions within government to support Open Data and influence attitudes, engaging the community, horizontal sharing between government, citizens and the private sector.

  • Operational – The operational enabler addresses the many challenges and support opportunities in the day-to-day process of making data open.

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.