Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 403. Updated Tuesday, 01 April 2014

Your PS News Network

mapoz sa vic nswnsw wawa qldqld apsaps sasa act actact vicvic
World PS News
Gov't data should be free: Turnbull

The days of Public Service Agencies charging for information could be on the way out if the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has his way.

Addressing a meeting of the Australian Information Industry's Navigating Analytics Summit in Canberra, Mr Turnbull was reported as saying that Open Data should take precedence over Departments' and Agencies' revenue raising needs.

Government News reported Mr Turnbull as saying: "As a matter of principle, I don't think the Government should be charging the public for data.

"Productivity benefits from making data freely available are so much greater than whatever revenues you can generate from them."

The "Open Data" movement contended that the best way to extract the value of Government data was to give it to the private sector and citizens, he said.

Benefits outweigh revenue

"If these insights are harnessed in an intelligent way, and there's no reason they shouldn't be, we have a real opportunity for Government to deliver more accessible and better quality services," Mr Turnbull said in his speech, citing Australian Tax Office data as ripe for exploitation.

But that raised new challenges and maintaining the public's trust in the Government's ability to ensure privacy and security was paramount, he said.

Mr Turnbull said improvements were needed to data retention practices and cross-border sharing, cross-Agency practices, the use of third party data sets, and de-identification of data and the mosaic effect - whereby data that in isolation appeared anonymous could amount to a privacy breach when combined with other elements.

He branded the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's hefty charges for access to its documents as "really regrettable", according to Government News.

"We are committed to working with Agencies to ensure the publication of data becomes a routine Government function," he said.

The full speech is available at this PS News link.

Popular PS Content

International News

Public Service news and events from around the world

Talking Point

In depth discussions on current topical issues

Personal Development

Expert advice in areas such as training, development, grooming and health.

PS Infocus

Photos and faces from PS gatherings

PS Features

A weekly round-up of features of interest to the Public Service

Book Reviews

Reviews of some of the latest, most relevant books of interest to PS News readers

Pick of the Flicks

The latest and best in special interest and collectable DVDs and Blu-Ray movies

Out of Hours

With travel, wine and dine, motoring and movies

Email a friend