Department of Finance, Services and Innovation

Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular
DFS C2013-06

DFS-C2013-06-Open Data Policy


To provide information about the Open Data Policy.

Function and Subject

Information Management (1)
Government Information (Public) Access, Reporting

Detailed Outline

  • The NSW Government Open Data Policy establishes a set of principles to simplify and facilitate the release of appropriate data by NSW Government agencies.
  • The Policy focuses on the release of high value datasets to the public.
  • The Policy requires agencies to use the AusGOAL open access licensing framework, including Creative Commons, for published data.
  • Agencies must publish links to data on Data.NSW, nominate a contact for data requests and consult with stakeholders when prioritising data.

The purpose of the NSW Government Open Data Policy is to:

  • simplify and facilitate the release of appropriate data by NSW Government agencies
  • make explicit the NSW Government’s commitment to open data and open government
  • create a practical policy framework that enables high-value datasets to be released to the public
  • help agencies in understanding community and industry priorities for open data
  • support the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPAA) and promote compliance with its requirements.

This policy helps facilitate implementation of best practice open data principles across the NSW public sector. Open data should be both technically and legally open – in the sense that it is technically available and usable, and appropriate licensing frameworks are in place to facilitate its release and use.

Establishing a culture of open data and open government, and applying the right policy settings from when data is first generated or collected, has been shown to deliver benefits to communities and economies, both in Australia and overseas.


Under the NSW Government Open Data Policy, agencies are required to;

  1. Prioritise high value data for release
  2. Use the AusGOAL open access licensing framework for published data
  3. Publish links to data on Data NSW
  4. Nominate a contact for data requests
  5. Consult with stakeholders when prioritising data for release.

High-value datasets will be identified by the agency responsible for managing the dataset (the ‘custodian’). High-value datasets often have one or more of the following characteristics, in that their release:

  • responds to a need and/or demand identified through public or stakeholder engagement, or supports positive social outcomes
  • has the potential to enhance services or service delivery
  • furthers the core mission of the agency
  • increases agency accountability and responsiveness
  • increases government transparency
  • will create economic opportunity, generate efficiencies, or reduce costs
  • will support evidence-based policy-making or research.

Laurie Glanfield

Director General

This policy applies to all NSW Government agencies including cluster agencies, departments, statutory bodies and shared service providers. In accordance with Premier’s Memorandum M1999-19  Applicability of Memoranda and Circulars to State Owned Corporations, the policy is not mandatory for State Owned Corporations, although it is recommended for adoption.

In addition to Government agencies, target audiences for the policy include non-government organisations (NGOs), academia, industry (including ICT developers) and members of the public who are interested in or have a specific use for government data.



Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)
Separate agencies
Statutory Authorities/Bodies
Subsidiaries of the NSW Government established under the Corporations Act
Councils under the Local Government Act

AR Details

Date Issued
Nov 11, 2013
Review Date
Nov 11, 2015
Replaced By


(02) 9372 8877
Publishing Entity
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
Issuing Entity
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation