Open Government Partnership – Australia

2.1 - Datasets and innovation

Overall status:

Australia will continue to make more public data openly available and supports its use to launch commercial and non-profit ventures, conduct research, make data-driven decisions and solve complex problems.

By developing an open dialogue with the research, not-for-profit and privacy sectors to identify the characteristics of high-value public datasets, and to promote innovative use of data to drive social and economic outcomes.

This commitment will advance the OGP values of access to information, technology and innovation and public participation by:

  • identifying and prioritising high-value datasets for priority release;

  • understanding how Australian businesses and not-for-profits are using public data;

  • stimulating use and re-use of public data to create social value;

  • providing access to and encouraging the use of public data;

  • identifying and addressing barriers impeding the sharing of and access to data; and

  • fostering a dialogue on how public data can be made more useful.

Current status

Round table discussions

Between October 2016 and April2017, Government consulted the public, including a broad cross-section of stakeholders and sectors in a series of roundtable discussions and ‘data pulse check’ surveys. Participants identified key issues surrounding access to and release of public data, including privacy concerns, standards, cultural and bureaucratic barriers.

Feedback received through the roundtables and surveys is informing the development of the high-value dataset framework. The framework will assist data custodians to identify high-value data for release.

Data Availability and Use Inquiry

The Productivity Commission (PC) delivered its final report of its Data Availability and Use Inquiry in March 2017 and the Government has since established a cross-portfolio taskforce to prepare the Government’s response to the report’s recommendations. The Taskforce has consulted with a range of government and non-government stakeholders and will deliver the Government’s response in the second half of 2017.

The PC report proposes reforms to strengthen Australia’s data system and give individuals more control over their digital data. Several of the recommendations relate to high value datasets including the designation of National Interest Datasets and a public nomination process for access to high value data.

PM&C will further consider its program of work to assess barriers, identify and release high-value data following the Government’s response to the PC Inquiry.

Open Data 500

The Government has delayed initiating a second round of the Open Data 500, whilst it assesses whether the above work effectively delivers the same outcome in a more comprehensive and consultative way.


Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Other stakeholders

Government: Commonwealth Government agencies, state and territory and local governments.

Non-Government: Non-government organisations (including Australian Open Government Partnership Network, Open Knowledge Foundation, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Australian Privacy Foundation), research, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Status

Consultation to assess barriers to using data, identify the characteristics of ‘high-value’ data and help inform the development of the High-Value Dataset Framework, including:

i.  Roundtable discussions with the research, private and not-for-profit sectors. (Dec - Apr 2017)


ii.  Undertake the second round of the Open Data 500. (Jan - Jul 2017)


iii.  Broader public consultation through surveys, social media and blog posts. (ongoing)


iv.  Undertake regular meetings of the Government Open Data Community Forum for public servants from federal, state and territory, and local government to share experience and discuss their ongoing open data work. (Ongoing)


Identify and release high-value data:

i.  Develop the High-Value Dataset Framework (informed by public consultation). (Apr - Dec 2017)


ii.  Develop and release a public registry of significant non sensitive datasets yet to be published on (Dec 2017 - Jul 2018)

Not yet commenced

iii.  Release non-sensitive data by default, with a focus on releasing high-value datasets. (Ongoing)


Stimulate innovative use and re-use of public data:

i.  Review and publicise the outcomes from the pilot DataStart initiative. (Early 2017)


ii.  Expand the DataStart initiative. (July 2017 - Jul 2018)


iii.  Provide support and mentoring at GovHack events. (Ongoing)

Last updated: 26/07/2017

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