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Data Sovereignty in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE0027)



Action Plan: Germany Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active


Lead Institution: North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy and Open Government Working Group

Support Institution(s): Municipality of Bonn, Rhineland Open Data Region, Association of German Cities, German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Consulting agency PD – Berater der öffentlichen Hand GmbH

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Germany Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


What is the public problem that the
commitment will address?
Legislation for open data is slated to
commence before the end of 2019 with an
amendment to the North Rhine-Westphalia
E-Government Act (EGovG NRW). The goal
is for the administration’s data to be made
available, comprehensively and free of
charge, for unlimited subsequent use. This
is to enable businesses and civil society
as well as the administrative authorities to
take advantage of the data.
Administrative bodies collate and process
data in the course of their duties. In some
cases, others collaborate in the collation of
that data. If data are to be made available
in their entirety, it is crucial for the administrative authorities themselves to have
ownership and sovereign rights over the
data. If those rights are held by a third
party, it can prove difficult or impossible to
make them public.
Not all administrative bodies have the
requisite knowledge and information at
their disposal to ensure they have data
sovereignty and ownership. However, such
knowledge is essential for conducting
procurement procedures and making
contracts with third parties, for instance,
as such activities frequently influence how
data can be used in future.

What is the commitment?
This commitment is meant to promote the
comprehensive provision of open data by
the administrative authorities. Obstacles
to publication – such as copyrights,
protections favouring third parties and
usage agreements – are to be reduced
as much as possible so that data may be
comprehensively used inside and outside
the administration. This has the potential to assist and facilitate data-based
decision-making at the administrative
and political levels. It will give the public
improved means of acquiring information
on the basis of open data. What is more,
it may give rise to new business models
and an expansion in the use of artificial

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem?
Ensuring data sovereignty will eliminate
key obstacles to the comprehensive reuse of data by administrative authorities
so that open data can be made available
on a larger scale. The aim is to enable
administrations to comprehensively use
and release data. Recommendations and
guidelines are to be drawn up and made

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Administrative authorities’ data ownership
and sovereignty is the basis on which open
data can be made public on an extensive
scale; it is therefore pivotal to generating
greater transparency and innovation.


  1. Participatory Development of Research and Innovation Policy

    DE0022, 2019, Public Participation

  2. Participatory Creation of Regulatory Policy

    DE0023, 2019, Open Regulations

  3. Digital Strategy Pilot for Rural Regions

    DE0024, 2019, Public Service Delivery

  4. Open Government in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0025, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Policy Co-Creation in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0026, 2019, Land Rights and Spatial Planning

  6. Data Sovereignty in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0027, 2019, Access to Information

  7. Open Government Portal in Saxony

    DE0028, 2019, E-Government

  8. Open-Source Software in Public Administrations in Schleswig-Holstein

    DE0029, 2019, Subnational

  9. Regional Open Government Labs

    DE0016, 2019, Public Participation

  10. Civil Society Consulation on Foreign Policy

    DE0017, 2019,

  11. Create Youth Strategy

    DE0018, 2019, Marginalized Communities

  12. Craete Federal Agency for Digital Innovation

    DE0019, 2019,

  13. Transparency and Participation in International Aid

    DE0020, 2019, Access to Information

  14. Strengthen and Socialize Open Data Policy

    DE0021, 2019, Access to Information

  15. Conditions for OGP Participation

    DE0001, 2017,

  16. Open Data in Administrative Practice

    DE0002, 2017, Access to Information

  17. Open Data Environment

    DE0003, 2017, Access to Information

  18. Access to Spatial Data

    DE0004, 2017, Access to Information

  19. Financial Transparency - EITI Standard

    DE0005, 2017, Access to Information

  20. Transparency in Development Policy

    DE0006, 2017, Access to Information

  21. Starred commitment Open Data for Intelligent Mobility

    DE0007, 2017, Access to Information

  22. Citizen Participation in Environmental Policy and Urban Development

    DE0008, 2017, Capacity Building

  23. Electronic Procedures for Family Benefits

    DE0009, 2017, E-Government

  24. Knowledge Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People

    DE0010, 2017, E-Government

  25. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

    DE0011, 2017, Public Participation

  26. Share of Women and Men in Leadership Positions, Private and Private Sectors

    DE0012, 2017, E-Government

  27. Open Access to Academic Literature

    DE0013, 2017, E-Government

  28. Science Year 2018

    DE0014, 2017, Public Participation

  29. Federal Competition “Living Together Hand in Hand”

    DE0015, 2017, Citizenship & Immigration

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