1    Availability

Government departments should make information available easily, widely and equitably to the people of New Zealand (except where reasons preclude such availability as specified in legislation).


2     Coverage

Government departments should make the following information increasingly available on an electronic basis:

  • all published material or material already in the public domain;
  • all policies that could be released publicly;
  • all information created or collected on a statutory basis (subject to commercial sensitivity and privacy considerations);
  • all documents that the public may be required to complete;
  • corporate documentation in which the public would be interested.


3     Pricing   

      Free dissemination of Government-held information is appropriate where:

  • dissemination to a target audience is desirable for a public policy purpose; or
  • a charge to recover the cost of dissemination is not feasible or cost-effective

      Pricing to recover the cost of dissemination is appropriate where:

  • there is no particular public policy reason to disseminate the information; and
  • a charge to recover the cost of dissemination is both feasible and cost effective.

c       Pricing to recover the cost of transformation is appropriate where:

  • pricing to recover the cost of dissemination is appropriate; and
  • there is an avoidable cost involved in transforming the information from the form in which it is held into a form preferred by the recipient, where it is feasible and cost-effective to recover in addition to the cost of dissemination.

d       Pricing to recover the full costs of information production and dissemination is appropriate where:

  • the information is created for the commercial purpose of sale at a profit; and
  • to do so would not breach the other pricing principles.


4     Ownership

Government-held information, created or collected by any person employed or engaged by the Crown is a strategic resource 'owned' by the Government as a steward on behalf of the public.


5     Stewardship

Government departments are stewards of Government-held information, and it is their responsibility to implement good information management.


6     Collection

Government departments should only collect information for specified public policy, operational business or legislative purposes.


7     Copyright

Information created by departments is subject to Crown copyright but where wide dissemination is desirable, the Crown should permit use of its copyrights subject to acknowledgement of source.


8      Preservation

Government-held information should be preserved only where a public business need, legislative or policy requirement, or a historical or archival reason, exists.


9     Quality

The key qualities underpinning Government-held information include accuracy, relevancy, timeliness, consistency and collection without bias so that the information supports the purposes for which it is collected.


10    Integrity

The integrity of Government-held information will be achieved when:

  • all guarantees and conditions surrounding the information are met;
  • the principles are clear and communicated;
  • any situation relating to Government-held information is handled openly and consistently;
  • those affected by changes to Government-held information are consulted on those changes;
  • those charged as independent guardians of the public interest  (eg the Ombudsman) have confidence in the ability of departments to manage the information well; and
  • there are minimum exceptions to the principles.


11    Privacy

The principles of the Privacy Act 1993 apply.


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