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Friday, 05 February 2010 14:38

Vics embrace Creative Commons for Gov 2.0

By
Victoria is set to become the first Australian state to make open access to public sector information (PSI) its default position as it moves to implement new Government 2.0 procedures throughout the public service.

Government expects that eventually about 85 per cent of State-generated information will be automatically available through Creative Commons licenses once the policy has been promulgated.

Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said government had endorsed a committee's over-arching recommendations that the default position for the management of PSI should be open access.

The state would now start work on developing a whole of government 'Information Management Framework' by which public sector information is automatically licensed under Creative Commons licensing, with a more tailored set of licences to be developed for the more restricted materials.

Development of the information management framework would start this year.

The plans are similar to those of the Commonwealth's Gov 2.0 Taskforce, whose December report is currently being considered by Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner.


The initiative includes sweeping changes to public sector processes and measures to encourage change in the Victorian Public Service culture regarding information management. The government response acknowledged the challenge of cultural change.

"The reforms to the (public service) that will need to take place to facilitate improved access to the data and information are likely to pose many challenges," it said.

"The committee acknowledges that Australia does not have a developed tradition of government disclosure of fundamental data, and that making PSI more freely available to the public will require efforts to change the way Victorian public servants regard public sector information and data."

Government had fully supported the bulk of the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee's inquiry into improving access to public information, but in 14 of the 46 recommendations gave 'in-principle' support ahead of assessments of the complexities of implementation.

With ICT Minister John Lenders, Jennings this week announced a $100,000 competition to encourage developers to start using the state's available data sets.

"By encouraging innovative and forward thinking applications, we are capturing Victoria's existing strengths in this area and increasing efficiency and transparency in government, stimulating investment and creating jobs," Mr Jennings said.

There are currently about 50 data sets available in Victorian. Details of the App My State competition will be announced later this month.
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