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Open Government

New Zealand government departments report efficiency gains from Open Data

72% of government departments in New Zealand have become more efficient by reusing other agencies’ data, according to the latest progress report on open government in the country.

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The 2014 Report on Agency Adoption of the New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government was published last week and shares progress on open government in New Zealand over the last one year.

In particular, 28% of the departments saw “direct cost savings” from the reuse of their public data, the report said. Departments experienced gains from not having to collect the data again, improvements in data quality, less time taken to further analyse the data, and having direct access to the data instead of making separate requests, the report said.

Departments are also releasing restricted datasets in secure environments to authorised users - an “unexpected consequence” of the government’s 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, the report noted. There is greater demand from authorised agencies and external researchers to use such data for analytics and evidence-based policy development. “Six departments are making changes to enable other departments and authorised users to use restricted data,” it added.

The report also said that “departments need to be more vigilant about….applying the required Creative Commons licensing statements to their open data and publications to allow innovative third party re-use”. Currently, only a quarter of all departments place the default Creative Commons license on all their online and paper publications, it said. It added that 78% of new data released in 2014-15 will have more appropriate reuse licensing statements.

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