On behalf of the Cross-Jurisdictional Chief Information Officers Committee, welcome to AusGOAL, the Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework.
AusGOAL builds on the Queensland Governments GILF – the Government Information Licensing Framework, launched in 2008. In late 2009 GILF was adopted nationally by the CJCIOC. Since then, there has been a significant shift toward open access and licensing around the world. Other countries have developed their own open licensing frameworks, numerous government reports have been published on the benefits of open access, and ‘right-to-information’ legislation has been enacted in 5 Australian jurisdictions (so far). These developments have led to the creation of AusGOAL, Australia’s nationally endorsed open access and licensing framework.
AusGOAL embodies a recognition that to fully implement open access, significant cultural reform is required in Australia’s public service. AusGOAL is establishing and supporting communities of practice in government and allied sectors to drive this cultural change. Increased efficiencies in the transfer of information, significant reductions in costs and faster information access have been realised where these communities are already in place. That work will continue for the benefit of all Australian’s.
With a new national focus the name has changed to AusGOAL. But GILF was always about ‘open access’ to government information. The reality in 2008 was that ‘open access’ wasn’t understood by government, and in many respects, it was shunned. GILF would never have been created had the words ‘open access’ been in its title. With passage of time, numerous government reports, advocacy by many, and examples of open access promoted around the world, ‘open access’ now becomes a prominent feature of AusGOAL.
Not PSI, PFI!
You will find very few references to ‘public sector information’ on the AusGOAL website. That’s because AusGOAL is focussed on open access and licensing of ‘publicly funded information’. We are partnering with organisations across a range of sectors that produce or administer publicly funded information, with the ultimate aim of uniting all of Australia’s publicly funded information, including PSI, under one open access and licensing framework.
We have updated the suite of AusGOAL recommended licences to include:
- the Creative Commons Australia Version 3 Licences (and we are closely monitoring the development of the Version 4 Creative Commons licences)
- the Restrictive Licence Template (which we are currently reviewing and updating)
- the BSD 3-Clause Software Licence, our preferred open-source software licence.
For non-copyright material we also recommend the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.
Communities of Practice
The website now includes a dedicated area for AusGOAL practitioners and our communities of practice. It provides access to resources and training materials, as well as other important information to support AusGOAL’s implementation across Australia’s governments, and our other sectoral partners. We have also established a YouTube Channel and LinkedIn Group, and we welcome your engagement with us through these sites as well.
We have some new tools under development. Those familiar with GILF will recall the licensing review. We are improving the functionality and usability of the review and will be releasing the new version shortly. Until then, we continue to make the GILF Licensing Review available on the AusGOAL website.
We are also developing an MS Office AusGOAL plug-in. It will provide users with a simple interface to access AusGOAL and provide the ability license written/printed material within Microsoft Office. Documents can be converted to PDF/RTF for publication and retain all of the necessary licensing links. We will have more news on these tools in the near future.
AusGOAL is developing the functionality to federate Australia’s data.x.gov.au implementations. We will have more news on this work in the near future as well.
There is a lot more on the AusGOAL website, so we encourage you to take a look.
I would like to thank the many people, organisations and jurisdictions for their continued support and contributions toward the AusGOAL framework and website. Both the framework and website will necessarily continue to evolve and we welcome comments, suggestions and other contributions.
I look forward to working with you as AusGOAL is implemented around Australia.
National Programme Director – AusGOAL