The IPC supports availability of data this Open Data Day 6 March 2021


The IPC is proud to celebrate Open Data Day on 6 March 2021, a celebration of the benefits of open data and a time to encourage open data policies in government, business and society.

Better decisions, better services and better customer experiences are being achieved by responsibly sharing data. By releasing Open Data we can empower citizens and gain new insights that improve the way we live, work and solve problems.

Open data means simply that information an organisation holds that is stored digitally should be made freely available to the community. This is usually done by making a digitised dataset accessible from the organisation’s website. Anyone who accesses and downloads the data is then free to use it, rearrange it and publish it as they wish. They are not restricted in doing so by principles of copyright or original authorship or ownership.

The IPC’s CEO and NSW Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Tydd, is also the NSW Open Data Advocate. In this capacity, Ms Tydd provides advice to government agencies regarding non-personal data that can be presented as open data and released to the public. Ms Tydd is involved in the Open Government Partnership in Australia which works to develop National Action Plans to help make Government more transparent, accountable and publicly engaged.

Australia’s Second National Action Plan 2018-2020, is committed to open data by improving the sharing, use and reuse of public sector data. Government data offers a significant opportunity for innovation in Government services, economic enterprise, research and development and transparency. Greater availability of data held by government increases transparency and openness

The Open Government Partnership is currently developing the Third National Action Plan, The NSW Information Commissioner is leading that initiative on behalf of State, Territory and Commonwealth Information Commissioners/Ombudsmen. The initiative promotes a government-wide commitment to:

  • the accessibility of government-held information through the development of a model law for nationally consistent access to information laws and the proactive release of information commonly sought by members of the Australian community or identified as valuable or necessary for open and accountable government
  • facilitating that access through harnessing technology to promote the proactive release of information regarding government service provision and decision making under contemporary arrangements including technology enhanced decision making and outsourcing arrangements.

The Open Data Advocate's public commitment aligns with the functions of the Information Commissioner and prioritises three outcomes:

  1. Guide agencies and citizens in promoting the availability of open access data
  2. Contribute to the development of indicators and measures to better recognise the most effective Open Data practices
  3. Promote Open Data as a cornerstone of Open Government.

To learn more about Open Data, please read the IPC’s Guideline 7: Open Data, which includes information such as the definition of open data, and opening data or release of government data using the access to information pathways under the GIPA Act. The IPC also has an Open Data: Opening our World infographic featuring case studies and examples of how Open Data has been used to enhance the way we live and work.

We also encourage you to visit Data.NSW and Australia’s Open Government Partnership Website.