OpenGov NSW general questions

What is the OpenGov NSW website?

Welcome to OpenGov NSW, a searchable online repository for NSW Government publications. It contains annual reports, strategic plans, guides, policy documents, and open access information released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) which has been published by NSW Government agencies.

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 NSW.

Is the content on OpenGov NSW only current 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 for older publications, whether they are 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 link to a search for your agency (e.g. https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/searches?query=&agencyId=27216) on your website.

Who administers the OpenGov NSW website?

Content on the OpenGov NSW website is provided by staff from NSW Government agencies. The OpenGov NSW website itself is administered by the State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales.

Registering to use OpenGov NSW

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 NSW to publish their current and older publications and Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) released information.

How do I register for OpenGov NSW?

Access to login to OpenGov NSW is restricted to staff who publish documents on behalf of their agency or organisation. There is no other need to register on the OpenGov NSW site.

To register, click the Agency Login button on the OpenGov NSW site, and in the form that appears, select Sign Up. Once you’ve completed the form, follow the instructions on the following page and your account will be approved.

If you have any problems or queries during the registration process, please get in touch with us at opengov@records.nsw.gov.au.

Creating publications

How do I publish on OpenGov NSW?

Once logged in to the OpenGov NSW site, you can add content by selecting "Register new publication". You'll be directed to a form, where you'll fill in basic metadata about the publication, such as title, date and category, and attach the relevant file or files (sometimes a single publication can comprise a set of files).

All publications are in a draft state by default, and need to be submitted for publication before they are visible on the OpenGov NSW site.

I submitted a publication. Why can't I see it on the OpenGov NSW site?

The majority of publications uploaded to OpenGov NSW are moderated before they are made publicly available. Once your publication has been approved and is visible on the OpenGov NSW site, you'll be notified by email.

What should I use as the publication 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?

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 in dd/mm/yyyy 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 specify 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. However, some publications (e.g. from local government) have a more specific geographical coverage, and in these cases the geographical coverage field should be changed as appropriate.

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.

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 (GA45) 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.