[LINK] Principles for Open Public Sector Information

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Feb 21 08:26:28 AEDT 2011

The Australian Information Commission has invited comments on ten "Draft
Principles on Open Public Sector Information", via a blog, by 1 March
2011: <http://oaic.govspace.gov.au/>.

Draft Principles on Open Public Sector Information:

1. Open access to information - a default position

Information held by the Australian Government is a valuable national
resource. As recommended by the Government 2.0 Taskforce, unless there
are compelling reasons to the contrary, access to that information
should be open, that is:

* free
* based on open standards
* easily discoverable
* understandable
* machine-readable, and
* freely reusable and transformable.

This places a proactive and pro-disclosure obligation on agencies to:

* use information technology to disseminate public sector information,
particularly by publishing information online
* maximise the amount of information that is published voluntarily,
rather than waiting for specific requests under the FOI Act, and
* apply a presumption of openness when deciding whether and how to
publish public sector information.

2. Effective information governance

Information held by Australian Government agencies is a core strategic
asset that should be managed effectively ...

3. Robust information asset management frameworks

Effective management of information throughout its life cycle can be
achieved ...

4. Findable information

In keeping with the principle that public sector information is a
valuable national resource, potential users should be readily able to
discover the information an agency has published, and identify assets
the agency holds but has not published. This can be achieved by:

* ensuring that published information has high quality metadata through
implementation of the Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS)
Metadata Standard
* applying search engine optimisation strategies to ensure that all
published information can be indexed by search engines, and
* publishing the agency's information asset register to enable both
internal and external users of information to identify the available
information resources from a single source.

5. Sound decision-making processes

Sound agency decision-making in relation to open access to public sector
information ...

6. Transparent complaints processes

Agency decision making about information publication should be
transparent. This can be supported, within the agency's information
governance framework, by an internal complaints procedure to handle
complaints from the public about agency publication decisions outside
the requirements of the FOI Act ...

7. Open and accessible formats online

The economic and social value of public sector information is enhanced
when it is published online in formats that are human-readable and
compatible with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines endorsed by the
Australian Government in February 2010 ...

8. Appropriate charging for access

The principle of open access to public sector information requires that
the cost of access to individuals is not unreasonably restrictive ...

9. Clear reuse rights

The economic and social value of public sector information is enhanced
when it is made available for reuse on open licensing terms. ...

10. Engaging the community

In keeping with Australian Government policy that agencies embrace
online engagement in policy design and service delivery, the community
can participate in agency decision making in relation to publication of
public sector information. ...

From: Towards an Australian Government Information Policy, Australian
Information Commissioner, November 2010

ps: I will be making this an exercise for my e-government students:

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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