Declaration of Open Government

The Australian Government now declares that, in order to promote greater participation in Australia’s democracy, it is committed to open government based on a culture of engagement, built on better access to and use of government held information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology.

Citizen collaboration in policy and service delivery design will enhance the processes of government and improve the outcomes sought. Collaboration with citizens is to be enabled and encouraged. Agencies are to reduce barriers to online engagement, undertake social networking, crowd sourcing and online collaboration projects and support online engagement by employees, in accordance with the Australian Public Service Commission Guidelines.

The possibilities for open government depend on the innovative use of new internet-based technologies. Agencies are to develop policies that support employee-initiated, innovative Government 2.0-based proposals.

The Australian Government’s support for openness and transparency in Government has three key principles:

  • Informing: strengthening citizen’s rights of access to information, establishing a pro-disclosure culture across Australian Government agencies including through online innovation, and making government information more accessible and usable;
  • Engaging: collaborating with citizens on policy and service delivery to enhance the processes of government and improve the outcomes sought; and
  • Participating: making government more consultative and participative.

Supporting Initiatives

The Australian Government’s commitment to action on each of these principles is demonstrated by:

  • the passage of legislation reforming the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and establishing the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner;
  • the Government’s announcement on 3 May 2010 of its response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0; and
  • Its response to the Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration report, in which the Government agreed that creating more open government is a key reform for the Australian Public Service.

Effective collaboration between citizens and government requires timely sharing of the information held by Government. The Government’s FOI Reforms create the new statutory Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and establish a comprehensive Information Publication Scheme that requires agencies to publish a wide range of information.

The Australian Government has commenced the program of initiatives outlined in its response to the Taskforce’s report in accordance with the agreed implementation timetable.

The Department of Finance and Deregulation will report annually on implementation progress of the recommendations of the Government 2.0 Taskforce to the Government through the Secretaries’ Information and Communications Technology Governance Board.

Copyright Notice

Notwithstanding the general copyright licence provided for on www.finance.gov.au, and with the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence.

The document should be attributed as the Declaration of Open Government.

Use of the Coat of Arms

The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are detailed on the It's an Honour website.


Contact for information on this page: Gov2@finance.gov.au