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DataVic access policy

This policy describes the plan for enabling public access to government data based on 5 principles.

The purpose of the DataVic Access Policy is:

  • to enable public access to government data to support research and education, promote innovation, support improvements in productivity and stimulate growth in the Victorian economy
  • to enhance sharing of, and access to, information-rich resources to support evidence-based decision making in the public sector

Not all government data will be suitable for release. Access to data may need to be restricted for reasons of privacy, public safety, security and law enforcement, public health, pre-existing contractual arrangements and compliance with the law.

This DataVic Access Policy is complemented by the whole of Victorian government Intellectual Property Policy, which streamlines the state’s management of intellectual property and encourages access to Crown copyright on the least restrictive terms appropriate.

DataVic Access Policy

Overview

The Victorian government recognises the benefits associated with mandating a whole of government approach to the availability of Victorian government data for the public good.

The DataVic Access Policy provides direction on the release, licensing and management of Victorian Government data so that it can be used and reused by the community and businesses.

The Victorian government holds, creates and collects a vast amount of data, ranging from demographic and economic to geospatial data.

Victorian government data refers to datasets and databases owned and held by the Victorian government and stored in formats including hardcopy, electronic (digital), audio, video, image, graphical, cartographic, physical sample, textual, geospatial or numerical form.

Victorian government data does not include software.

Not all Victorian government data is suitable for release under the policy. Access to some data will need to be restricted for reasons of privacy, public safety, security and law enforcement, public health and compliance with the law. Only data owned by the State of Victoria or sufficiently licenced to the State of Victoria will be released under this policy.

Expected benefits of the policy

The policy is expected to achieve the following benefits:

  • stimulate economic activity and drive innovation and new services to the community and business
  • increase productivity and improve personal and business decision making based on improved access to data
  • improve research outcomes by enabling access to primary data to researchers in a range of disciplines
  • improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by encouraging better management practices and use of the data

Relationship to other policies

This policy operates in conjunction with the whole of Victorian government Intellectual Property Policy, and, like the Intellectual Property Policy, applies to all departments and public bodies (agencies).

DataVic access policy intent

To enable public access to government data to support research and education, promote innovation, support improvements in productivity and stimulate growth in the Victorian economy.

To enhance sharing of, and access to, information-rich resources to support evidence-based decision making in the public sector.

DataVic access policy principles

Principle 1

Government data will be made available unless access is restricted for reasons of privacy, public safety, security and law enforcement, public health, and compliance with the law.

Principle 2

Government data will be made available under flexible licences.

Principle 3

With limited exceptions, government data will be made available at no or minimal cost.

    Principle 4

    Government data will be easy to find (discoverable) and accessible in formats that promote its reuse.

    Principle 5

    Government will follow standards and guidelines relating to release of data and agency accountability for that release.

    Note to principle 3: An agency may commercialise, or apply the Cost Recovery Guidelines to, government data if it has an explicit statutory function to do so; or it has been explicitly authorised to do so by the relevant Minister after consulting with the Treasurer, because of a clear net benefit to the Victorian community.

    Governing framework for this policy

    The DataVic Access Policy is administered through the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Department of Premier and Cabinet maintains the primary gateway to government data – www.data.vic.gov.au.

    The DataVic Access Policy Intent and Principles will be supported by mandatory standards and guidelines approved by the Assistant Treasurer. Standards and guidelines will cover a range of topics including:

    • metadata standards
    • copyright licence tools (in conjunction with the Intellectual Property Policy)
    • the assessment of data quality and appropriate data quality statements for datasets
    • other terms and conditions of use, including disclaimers and limitation on use of data
    • data governance and roles and responsibilities

    Departmental Secretaries and agency heads are responsible for authorising the release of datasets maintained by their agency, subject to this policy.


    © State of Victoria

    Reviewed 20 November 2019

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