What is Open Government?
Open Government refers to the international movement to make all governments more open, transparent, and accountable to the public.
This means we advocate for open data and information–as long as the privacy of individual people and organisations is protected. Our government produces or funds a wealth of data and information all the time, including geospatial datasets, educational resources, scientific reports, and cultural works.
We believe that all these works should be released for the public to access, re-use, and even monetise. This means that they should be free from price and copyright restrictions, in machine-readable, open formats. The Creative Commons copyright licences help achieve this.
Open Government in Aotearoa
The good news is that the New Zealand Government has declared its support for Open Government with the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL), first released in 2010. NZGOAL recommends the use of Creative Commons licences for government agencies releasing copyright works for re-use, with the Creative Commons Attribution licence as the default.
NZGOAL found added support in the 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. Cabinet directed government departments and invited State Sector agencies to commit to releasing high-value public data actively for re-use, including commercial re-use. New businesses and services can thrive when these materials are made openly available.
Open Government now
Our job now is to build on the work that many government agencies are already doing and make NZGOAL ‘business as normal’ across the state sector. If you want to know how to make your part of the public sector more open, we’re happy to come to your place and help you figure it out.