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Open Data Principles

Agencies must ensure that their specific guidelines and practices align with these principles.

Principle 1: We release open data proactively

Data will be open by default. Data will be approved as public with consideration and appropriate attention to privacy, information security, intellectual property rights and legal concerns. Agencies will proactively identify and classify data for public release.

The decision to release data from new sources will be made up front before it is collected to improve our business and technology planning. Open data release planning will give consideration to the potential value of the data.

Principle 2: We make open data discoverable and usable

Open data will be accessible and easily discoverable on Data.SA, the Government of South Australia’s data directory.

Open data will be in a format that makes it easy to use, to transform and re-use. Characteristics that support usability include:

  • machine readable formats (data is structured to allow automated processing)
  • non-proprietary formats
  • accuracy, integrity and timeliness
  • additional information that supports interpretation of the data (e.g. metadata or links to other published resources).

Principle 3: We license open data for re-use

Restrictions on the use of the data will be avoided where possible. The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence is preferred as the most open licence that supports research, analysis and transformation of the data – contributing to new ideas and applications.

A Creative Commons public licence provides a standard set of terms and conditions that creators and other rights holders may use to share original works and other material subject to copyright and certain other rights specified in the public licence, including a disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability.

Principle 4: We manage open data to make it reliable

Open data released will be managed so that the community has confidence that the data they are accessing is current, reliable and well managed. Management practices that support user confidence in data reliability include:

  • approaches that securely automate the release of regular or live open data direct from our systems
  • processes that support the regular review of non-automated published data to ensure its currency and quality is maintained
  • availability of new collections of a dataset in a timely manner
  • data published online is retained to ensure future access to historical data
  • where data is automatically refreshed, a periodic representation of the data is published to support access to historical data.  

Principle 5: We make data free for everyone where the public benefits

Open data will be available to everyone where practicable to encourage its widespread use, to achieve maximum value and create public benefits. Open data will be released free of charge unless:

  • the benefits of accessing and using the data are predominantly private or commercial in nature
  • there is a statutory requirement for charges to apply
  • Cabinet has approved that charges be applied.

If there is a case for cost recovery, agencies may decide to recover the full cost, less than the full cost, or not to recover costs at all, depending on factors, such as:

  • the cost of releasing the data
  • how cost effective it is to charge
  • whether cost recovery will undermine government policy objectives, including the potential for data to be used to support innovation for public benefit
  • whether there is a case to recover only the marginal cost of releasing the data, particularly where the additional costs of releasing or repackaging the data are significant. 

Principle 6: We will engage and collaborate

Data.SA allows users to request data, provide feedback and receive notification of updates. This enables engagement, encouraging agencies to respond to the needs of the community and improve data service delivery. Information is shared about applications and ideas created by industry and the community that are inspired by government data. 

Where the release of data is through an application programming interface, web service or real-time application, agencies will engage with the developer community – supporting collaboration and innovation.  

Last updated: 08 March 2017