Australia Finalizes Open Government National Action Plan

    Jan 10, 2017

    In an effort to improve transparency, accountability, and open data, the Government of Australia on December 7 announced the release of the country’s first open government National Action Plan. Developed through a year-long process of public input and consultation, the plan outlines strategies for reforming information access laws and encouraging non-government entities to release more high-value data.

    The launch of a National Action Plan is part of the commitment the Australian government made when it became a member of the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

    “The Government recognizes it must keep lifting the bar to ensure we meet the high expectations of Australians, who rightly expect Australia to be a leader in promoting transparency, integrity and public engagement, and to be at the forefront of technological innovation,” stated the minister of finance in the plan’s forward.

    In the area of open data and digital transformation, the plan calls for working with the research, not-for-profit, and private sectors to identify and release high-value datasets in an effort to drive social and economic outcomes. It also promises to deliver a government-wide digital transformation roadmap along with live public dashboards measuring the performance of government services. 

    The plan also seeks to improve access to government information by reforming the Freedom of Information Act of 1982, working with states and territories to collect and publish uniform data, and improving the discoverability and accessibility of government data through central portals and digital platforms.

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