The aim of the Western Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy is to improve the management and use of public sector data assets, to deliver value and benefits for all Western Australians.
The Government collects and uses a vast array of data across its everyday operations. Managed well, this data is an important strategic asset and a source of significant value to the state.
- Open access to public sector data increases productivity and improves service delivery by:
- facilitating collaboration
- informing evidence-based decision-making
- supporting innovation, research, and education.
Many agencies already make their data available to the public, through websites, reports or publications. Making this data easier to find and use and opening access to more datasets will enhance the benefits for government, businesses, and communities.
The Policy applies to all agencies and organisations covered by the Public Sector Management Act 1994, including agencies listed in Schedules 1 and 2. Alongside government departments, this includes:
- government trading enterprises
- local governments
- courts and tribunals
- consultants and contractors to government
- recipients of government grants
The policy requires in-scope agencies to:
- prioritise the availability of in-demand, high-value data
- improve the discoverability and usability of existing datasets
- apply open data principles to any new data collection and creation
In practice, the approach to open data varies across Australia and the world. Under the Policy, data is considered ‘open’ when it is:
- released and available for the public
- easily discoverable
- in formats that are modifiable, non-proprietary, and machine-readable
- licensed to enable re use and redistribution
- available at no cost to users
Although a large amount of data collected by the public sector will be suitable for public release, the Policy recognises that opening access to data is not always possible or appropriate.
Achieving a comprehensive approach to open data is a progressive and evolving process. Agencies are encouraged to assess their current level and move progressively towards a mature position, as outlined in the Policy.