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 licensed 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
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.
Government data will be made available under flexible licences.
With limited exceptions, government data will be made available at no or minimal cost.85
Government data will be easy to find (discoverable) and accessible in formats that promote its reuse.
Government will follow standards and guidelines relating to release of data and agency accountability for that release.
Governing framework for this policy
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.
85. An agency may commercialise, or apply the Cost Recovery Guidelines to, government data if:
(a) it has an explicit statutory function to do so; or
(b) 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.
Reviewed 25 October 2019