Declaration on open and transparent government

The Ministers of Finance and Internal Affairs have released a statement today detailing a new Declaration on Open and Transparent Government.

“Today the Government is releasing a declaration that clearly sets out our expectation that agencies should release all non-personal and unclassified data with high potential value for re-use,” says Finance Minister Bill English.

Included in the full Declaration on Open and Transparent Government statement, is the notion that “The government holds data on behalf of the New Zealand public. We release it to enable the private and community sectors to use it to grow the economy, strengthen our social and cultural fabric, and sustain our environment. We release it to encourage business and community involvement in government decision-making.”

The utility of the New Zealand Creative Commons licences for legally reusable materials is detailed in the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing Framework (NZGOAL). The framework acts as guidance for agencies when opening up content and data for reuse. In particular, the Attribution licence is recommended as the default licence when releasing material in this way.

The New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles have also been approved to ensure high quality management of the information the government holds on the behalf of the public.

One such Principal is that materials should be ‘Reusable’:

Data and information released can be discovered, shared, used and reused over time and through technology change. Copyright works are licensed for reuse and open access to and reuse of non-copyright materials is enabled, in accordance with the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework.

Data and information are released:

  • at source, with the highest possible level of granularity
  • in re-usable, machine-readable format
  • with appropriate metadata; and
  • in aggregate or modified forms if they cannot be released in their original state.

Data and information released in proprietary formats are also released in open, non-proprietary formats.

Digital rights technologies are not imposed on materials made available for reuse.

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