FAQS

OpenGov NSW General questions

What is the OpenGov NSW website?

OpenGov NSW is a searchable online repository for NSW Government publications such as annual reports, strategic plans, guides and policy documents, as well as information released by agencies under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA). The OpenGov NSW website supports Goal 31 of the NSW State Plan: Improve government transparency by increasing access to government information.

Can I publish my agency's Annual Report only on OpenGov NSW?

Agencies must submit their annual reports to the Legislative Assembly and must also make them publicly available. This can be done on the agency's website, on OpenGov NSW or both. OpenGov NSW can also be an important public resource for older annual reports that may be difficult for agencies to maintain as accessible on their own websites.

Is publishing GIPA material on OpenGov NSW enough to satisfy legislative requirements?

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA), an agency can use its own website or "any other means that the agency considers appropriate" (s.6(2)) to publish mandatory and authorised proactive release information, as long as at least one of the means of access is free of charge. This means that, along with or in lieu of an agency's own website, OpenGov NSW can be used as a free of charge means of making mandatory and authorised proactive release information available. In addition, by publishing this information on OpenGov NSW, agencies can assist the public to search across a collection of current and older New South Wales Government GIPA releases in a single location.

For more information on agencies' obligations under GIPA, contact the Information and Privacy Commission.

Is the content on OpenGov NSW only current NSW Government information?

Agencies can use OpenGov NSW to register current publications and information released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA). Agencies can also use OpenGov NSW to register older material, whether publications or GIPA released information. This benefits agencies because it means they don't have to maintain access to non-current information on their websites and it benefits the public who can use OpenGov NSW as a single resource for both current and non-current government information.

If I've registered information on OpenGov NSW how do I identify this on my agency website?

You are encouraged to provide links from your own website to OpenGov NSW. You can link to single publications or to a list of all the publications uploaded by your agency. The easiest way to link to all your agency's publications is to provide a link to OpenGov NSW on your website.

Who administers the OpenGov NSW website?

Whilst content on the OpenGov NSW website is provided by registered users from NSW Government agencies, the website itself is administered by the State Records Authority of NSW which is a division of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. If you have any questions or comments about OpenGov please contact us at opengov@records.nsw.gov.au

Register as a user

Who can register to publish information on OpenGov NSW?

NSW Government agencies, local government councils, NSW universities and State owned corporations are invited to use OpenGov to publish their current and older publications and Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) released information. Users can set up their own logins on the OpenGov NSW website and immediately begin uploading publications.

When I'm registering as a user, how do I find my agency?

The agency field in the registration form automatically recognises NSW Government agency names. Older agency names are also recognised and this allows for the registration of historical information. Start typing your agency name to see if it appears. If your agency isn't included on the list, you can add the name of your agency and this will be saved as part of the registration process.

What happens after I register?

You will receive an email confirming your account details. New users can immediately start uploading publications to OpenGov NSW.

Publishing information

How do I publish on OpenGov NSW?

Once logged in to the OpenGov NSW website as a user, you can add content by selecting "Register new publication", attaching the relevant file (or files – sometimes a single publication can comprise a set of files), and entering basic descriptive information about the publication, such as title and date. The majority of publications uploaded to OpenGov NSW are moderated before they are made publicly available.

When I'm publishing on OpenGov NSW, what do I put as the title?

If it's a publication, then use the formal title as it appears on the publication, such as the title on the front page of an annual report or the title of a set of guidelines. For information that has been released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA), it's important to provide enough details in the title to make the information understandable. A good example and guide to titling is the descriptive information required in disclosure logs. Clear and informative titling will make information easier to find and provide an effective searchable online resource of information both for the public and for future reference by agencies.

What dates should I use when publishing information on OpenGov NSW?

Where dates are identifiable (e.g. the publication date for an annual report or the date of a document such as a letter or report) these should be added in full with day/month/year format. Exact dates won't always be available or identifiable so you can add month/year or just year in the date field.

What should I put in the Agency and Publisher fields?

The 'Agency' is the name of the agency (or agencies) responsible for creating the publication. This will often be the same as the 'Publisher' which is the agency (or agencies) responsible for publishing the publication. In cases where the Agency and Publisher are the same, the Publisher field can be left blank. Sometimes the Agency and Publisher will differ (e.g. where a parent department publishes publications on behalf an agency); in these cases, please include the Publisher as well as the creating Agency.

When should I change the Geographical Coverage field?

Most NSW Government publications and published information relates to New South Wales generally. Some publications, for example local government publications, have a more specific geographical coverage and in these cases the Geographical Coverage field should be changed.

When should I change the Creative Commons field?

Creative Commons provides a licencing structure that allows copyright owners to determine how their copyright material can be shared and used legally by others. The Creative Commons licence for information published on the OpenGov NSW website is Attribution (CC BY 3.0), which allows others to distribute and re-use information as long as the original creators/copyright owners are credited. If you agree to the CC BY 3.0 Creative Commons licence, select the check box. This will help the public to identify how the information may be shared and used legally.

Why hasn't the information I've published been accepted?

There may be a problem with the details that were added during registration or with the files that were uploaded. Identifying any errors or issues is part of the moderation process. You'll be advised what needs to be changed, amended or fixed.

I think I submitted a publication. Why is it not appearing on OpenGov NSW's home page?

A publication is by default in a "draft" stage and will need to be submitted for moderation before becoming live to the public (except for privileged users). The metadata form contains some mandatory fields denoted by an asterisk (*) and at least one file needs to be attached to the form before submitting it for moderation. Users can save their progress any time by clicking the "Save draft" button. An email will be sent to you when the publication has been made live on the OpenGov NSW website.

Can I destroy the source information once published on OpenGov NSW?

The answer is in most cases you can, however there are some important exceptions. See the General retention and disposal authority: original or source records that have been copied for more information. As long as the source information does not fall within these exempted categories, the process is documented and quality assurance has been carried out, the source documents can be destroyed. Quality assurance could be just checking that the information is complete once it is published on OpenGov NSW.

When I've logged in and clicked on 'Register new publication' button or 'Detail' link, I am logged out immediately.

If you are using Internet Explorer 7 or below, you may encounter this problem. We recommend using IE 8 or higher, Firefox, or Chrome when uploading publications to OpenGov NSW.