News

Articles:

New Zealand adopts International Open Data Charter

New Zealand adopts International Open Data Charter

The
Government of New Zealand recently announced that it is officially adopting the International Open
Data Charter.

At
the Open Data, Open Potential event that took place in Wellington, Minister of
Statistics James Shaw and the Government Chief Data Steward Liz
MacPherson signed of a letter to officially adopt the International Open
Data Charter.

According
to New Zealand Minister of Statistics James Shaw, the move is to confirm
the country's commitment to the practice of openness in government and
to ensure that the government-held data is used to help achieve
better outcomes for New Zealanders.

“This will ensure we are accountable, transparent, and resilient in our use of data, as well as meeting increased user demand for open data to drive innovation,” said Minister Shaw.

The
overarching goal of the International
Open Data Charter
is to foster greater coherence
and collaboration for the increased adoption and implementation of shared open
data principles, standards and good practices across sectors around the world.

Founded
in 2015, the Open Data Charter is a collaboration between governments and
experts working to open up data. According to the official website of Open
Data Charter, the aspiration was that data should be open by default, timely
and interoperable. More than 70 governments and organisations have joined the
movement.

The
Charter upholds 6 core principles:

(1) Open by default

This
principle changes how government operates and how it interacts with citizens. Contrary
to the usual case that citizens have to ask government agencies for specific
information they seek, open by default has a presumption of publication for
all. Governments need to justify keeping data closed, such as for security or
data protection reasons to protect citizens’ right to privacy.

(2) Timely and comprehensive

This
principle ensures that open data remains relevant and up-to-date, by getting
information published quickly and in a comprehensive way. It is encouraged that
governments should provide data in its original, unmodified form as much as
possible.

(3) Accessible and usable

This
principle ensures that data is machine readable and easy to find. Developing portals
is one way of achieving this. Governments should also consider user experience of
those accessing data, including the file formats that information is provided.
Data should be free of charge, under an open license, such as those developed
by Creative Commons.

(4) Comparable and Interoperable

The
principle anchors on the idea that data has a multiplier effect. The more
quality datasets you have access to, and the easier it is for them to talk to
each other, the more potential value you can get from them. Commonly-agreed data
standards play a crucial role in making this happen.

(5) For Improved Governance & Citizen
Engagement

Open
data has the capacity to let citizens and others in government have a better
idea of what officials and politicians are doing. This transparency can improve
public services and help hold governments to account.

(6) For Inclusive Development and Innovation

Other
than improving government performance, availability of open data can help spur
inclusive economic development and innovative solutions.

By
opening up data held by public agencies, the New Zealand Government is
encouraging openness as the default setting for government agencies to make
non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential data freely available to anyone
to use and share, while confidential
and private information will remain protected and safeguarded.

New
Zealand's official data agency Stats NZ will implement the Open Data Action
Plan to set the direction for the Charter's implementation in New Zealand.

The
Open Data Action Plan, implemented by Stats NZ, will: (1) provide transparency
about the data the Government holds, (2) equip agencies with better tools and
resources, and (3) connect citizen and the Government.

Online
tools and resources and training will lift people’s capability to innovate, to
inform decision-making, and to provide evidence-based policy through data.

Within
the Asia-Pacific region, the national governments of Australia, the Philippines
and South Korea have also adopted the International Open Data Charter.

The International Open Data Charter is available
here.

0 Shares