Open data, a significant component of open government, is of increasing interest to the community, and is essential to achieving a Digital Canberra. In 2012, the ACT Government released one of Australia’s first open data portals based on the following value proposition:
- Improve public confidence in government. Greater transparency and effective communications through the use of data narratives can work to improve community trust and confidence in government.
- Improve strategic relationships. Strategic relationships with researchers, learning institutions, business, community organisations, NGOs, and government organisations is strengthened when government data is made available and easily accessible.
- Generate revenue and create new jobs in the private sector. Making more government data publicly available in standards-compliant, machine-readable formats makes it easier for private sector companies and entrepreneurs to innovate, and business ventures that can help strengthen and grow the local economy.
- Empower employees to make better-informed, data-driven decisions. Making it easier to find existing data is essential to being able to then incorporate that data into everyday decision-making processes for improved business intelligence.
- Avoid duplicative internal research. Greater internal transparency of data holdings can prevent the possibility of funds being wasted in re-collecting data due to lack of awareness of existing data holdings.
- Save time and money responding to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. When data is open by default, the public can access the information it seeks directly, freeing directorates and agencies from the time and cost related to responding to FOIs.
- Achieving greater value through linked datasets. Linking datasets held by different directorates and agencies have the potential to produce more powerful conclusions and more complete analytics.
The release of the ACT Government’s Digital Strategy in 2016 further highlighted the role that data plays in a Digital Canberra. More details can be found in the ACT Government’s Open Data Policy. The ACT Government’s Open Data Portal is managed by the Office of the Chief Digital Officer. If you have any questions about the site, please email the Office at CDO@act.gov.au
Visit the ACT Government Open Data Portal - dataACT
Visit the ACT Government Open Geospatial Data Site