Skip Navigation

Undertake an Audit of Key Datasets for Publication (IE0003)



Action Plan: Ireland, First Action Plan, 2014-16

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: DPER

Support Institution(s): Working closely with the network of Chief Information Officers in public bodies

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Open Data, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ireland End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Ireland 2014-2015 IRM Progress Report (Final)

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Public Accountability , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



An audit will be carried out of datasets available within the public service. On the basis of this audit, looking at international best practice, and in consultation with the general public, the high value data sets that should be prioritized for publication will be determined. This audit will also be an opportunity to ensure that all currently existing data sets are correctly catalogued on the Open Data Platform.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Cluster 1: Open Data A (1.1, 1.2, 1.3)

1.1 - Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data

1.2 - Establishment of Ireland’s Open Data Platform

1.3 - Undertake an audit of key datasets for publication

Commitment Text:

Action 1.1 - Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data

Best practice standards for the publication and licensing of Open Data in Ireland will be established and implemented drawing on best practice international standards and covering the following areas: carrying out a reiterative data audit, dataset selection, publishing high quality data, licensing, engaging data users, encouraging data reuse, evaluating impact and identifying options for an appropriate benchmarking system for Open Data. In relation to recommendations on licensing, the transposition of the EU PSI Directive will be used to examine how the PSI licence can be aligned to international standards and definitions for “open” and “re usable” Open Data. 

Action 1.2 - Establishment of Ireland’s Open Data Platform

Ireland’s Open Data Platform will be established. The Open Data published on the platform will strive to be compliant with the G8 Open Data Charter, including that the data will be available in open, machine readable formats, with robust and consistent metadata. The Open Data Platform will contain a data catalogue that will allow citizens to search for datasets hosted by public sector bodies. Aligned with international best practices and to maximise the potential for data interoperability, the Open Data Platform will strive to publish 5 star quality data where possible. The Open Data Ireland Platform will also facilitate feedback from citizens, for example enabling citizens to request additional datasets, to provide information about applications for which the data is being utilized, and to provide practical knowledge about usability and quality of data sets. The Open Data Ireland Platform will be continually supported and new features added where necessary, for example, the potential of the platform to host datasets.

Action 1.3 - Undertake an audit of key datasets for publication

An audit will be carried out of datasets available within the public service. On the basis of this audit, looking at international best practice, and in consultation with the general public, the high value data sets that should be prioritized for publication will be determined. This audit will also be an opportunity to ensure that all currently existing data sets are correctly catalog ued on the Open Data Platform.

Responsible institution: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER)

Supporting institution(s): Working closely with network of Chief Information Officers in public bodies

Start date: June 2014                                                         End date: 30 June 2016


Commitment Aim

This commitment aims to allow people to freely use, share, modify, and re-use data held by public bodies. Given that such policies had not been previously developed in Ireland, and are highly important in the digital age, they were introduced in the action plan. This set of actions offered solutions regarding the formulation of Open Data policies, namely: setting standards on how open data should be reported (Action 1.2); establishing a centralized portal where all available data can be published on the Internet (Action 1.2); and ensuring that government bodies perform an audit on key data sets to be published (Action 1.3).



1.1: Substantial

1.2: Complete

1.3: Limited

Before implementation of its OGP action plan, the government did little to establish best practice standards for open data, an open data platform, or an audit of key databases to be published by the state. After the action plan was adopted, substantial progress was made in the first year, particularly on two fronts. First, the government held consultation with different stakeholders regarding the technical framework that guides open data in Ireland, and an Open Data Technical Framework report of June 2015 was published along with a broader strategy on open data, entitled the Foundation Document for the Development of the Public Service Open Data Strategy. Second, an open data portal was established in 2014.[Note 1: Accessible here: (last accessed September 9, 2015)] Also, more government departments’ datasets beyond DPER were audited, where publication of more databases was being planned.

End of term

1.1: Complete

1.2: Complete

1.3: Complete

In the second year of the action plan, the Open Data Technical Framework was finalized by the Public Bodies Working Group[Note 2: See: (last accessed September 18, 2016)] and offers clearly defined standards for public bodies to ensure their data is published consistently and in a truly open way. This framework was the result of a consultation process in the second year of the action plan. The open data platform was completed in the first year of the action plan, as reported in the IRM midterm report.[Note 3: ] While auditing was always going to be an ongoing and systematic process throughout the life of the Open Data Initiatives over the next years, the evidence suggests that one audit of key databases has already been completed in the second year of the action plan. A tool is also now available on-line for users to log into and add their datasets.[Note 4:  See (last accessed September 18, 2016)] Further progress to push the open data agenda was also seen in November 2015, when the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform signed statutory regulations to transpose Directive 2013/37/EU on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI) into Irish law. These regulations mandated state institutions to establish ‘a statutory framework for the re-use by businesses and citizens of existing information held by public sector bodies in new products and services.[Note 5: Quote taken from:]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Major

Public accountability: Did not change

The starting point for these commitments was the effective ‘non-existence’ of an Open Data policy prior to the action plan. A Data Audit Report in 2014, by Insight Centre for Data Analytics, concluded that most of the datasets identified during the data audit were neither associated with an Open License, nor published in machine-readable form or on the web.[Note 6: file:///Users/denissemiranda/Downloads/Data-Audit-Report.pdf ] These commitments sought to formulate open data policy to maximize the amount of publicly available data and ensure the quality of the data met open data standards. With the completion of the open data platform, the audit on key data bases and signing statutory regulations to transpose Directive 2013/37/EU, the IRM researcher finds that a framework has been set in place to open data. The current open data portal includes 4,887 from 97 publishers. The datasets are grouped in 10 themes ranging from health, environment, transport, housing and zoning and others. The portal also has an openness score that assess datasets. Of the 4,887 datasets, most are released in open formats, but there is still a subset of datasets that are not available online, published in pdf and excel or not under open license[Note 7: Open Data Portal avaliable here: ]. Although the policy is relatively new, with the framework in place and the updated open data platform, the availability and quality of information has significantly improved from 2014. The policy’s effects on public accountability, on the other hand, will only be seen as the policy rolls out.

Carried forward?

Ireland carried this commitment forward into the next action plan. Under commitment 11 (Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020) and 12 (Invest in Data Infrastructure that will result in better Open Data) of the new action plan, the government seeks to improve access to information and strengthen transparency by scaling up the volume and quality of open data available. Additionally, it intends to strengthen the quality and quantity of potential open datasets by investing in data systems, people, standards, unique identifiers and processes.


  1. Promote Transparent Climate Policy Development

    IE0031, 2016, Environment and Climate

  2. Support Public Participation Networks

    IE0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  3. Improve Access to Justice: Reducing Costs

    IE0033, 2016, Access to Justice

  4. Improve Access to Justice: Framework to Assist Vulnerable Persons

    IE0034, 2016, Access to Justice

  5. Improve Access to Justice: Oversight of Legal Practitioners

    IE0035, 2016, Access to Justice

  6. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: General

    IE0036, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: Youth

    IE0037, 2016, Marginalized Communities

  8. Enhance Customer Engagement

    IE0038, 2016, Access to Information

  9. Improve Access to Government Services Through Technology

    IE0039, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Participatory Budgeting

    IE0040, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  11. Improve Transparency of Government Service Providers

    IE0041, 2016, Access to Information

  12. Enhance Fiscal Transparency

    IE0042, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  13. Introduce Modern Document Management Procedures

    IE0043, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020

    IE0044, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Invest in Data Infrastructure That Will Result in Better Open Data

    IE0045, 2016, Access to Information

  16. Starred commitment Develop a Code of Practice for the Governance of Charities

    IE0046, 2016, Public Participation

  17. Starred commitment Public Sector Standards Bill

    IE0047, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  18. Establish a Register of Beneficial Ownership

    IE0048, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  19. Establishment of Best Practice Standards for Open Data

    IE0001, 2014, Access to Information

  20. Establishment of Ireland’S Open Data Platform

    IE0002, 2014, Access to Information

  21. Undertake an Audit of Key Datasets for Publication

    IE0003, 2014, Access to Information

  22. Establish a Roadmap for the Open Data and an Evaluation Framework to Provide Assessment of the Ongoing Open Data

    IE0004, 2014, Access to Information

  23. Establishment of an Open Data Ireland Governance Board (ODIGB) and Steering and Implementation Group (SIG) for Open Data Ireland

    IE0005, 2014, Access to Information

  24. Signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter

    IE0006, 2014, Access to Information

  25. Implementing Open Data

    IE0007, 2014, Access to Information

  26. Improve Computer Literacy Through Implementation of Proposed New Digital Strategy for Schools

    IE0008, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Review National and International Practice to Develop Revised Principles / Code for Public Engagement/Consultation with Citizens, Civil Society and Others by Public Bodies.

    IE0009, 2014, Public Participation

  28. Starred commitment Hold Referenda Arising from the Recommendations of the Constitutional Convention

    IE0010, 2014, Gender

  29. Starred commitment Ethics Reform

    IE0011, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  30. Strengthening Freedom of Information - Implement the Code of Practice for Freedom of Information (FOI).

    IE0012, 2014, Access to Information

  31. Reform of FOI

    IE0013, 2014, Access to Information

  32. Starred commitment Regulation of Lobbying

    IE0014, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  33. Starred commitment Encourage, Protect and Raise Awareness of Whistleblower Duties and Protections

    IE0015, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  34. Measures to Increase Citizen Participation in Decision Making on Policy and Legislative Proposals. Systemic Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of Draft Bills

    IE0016, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  35. Develop and Deliver Access to Environmental Information (AIE) Training Module for Public Officials

    IE0017, 2014, Access to Information

  36. Increase Citizen Participation at Local Level. Pilot Approach to Implementation of Public Participation Networks

    IE0018, 2014, Private Sector

  37. Provide Legal Base for Public Participation Framework in Local Government

    IE0019, 2014, Capacity Building

  38. Undertake a Feasibility Study on Possible Means of Enabling Further Citizen Engagement in Local Authority Budgetary Processes

    IE0020, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  39. Support Children and Young People as Citizens. Develop, Finalise and Publish the First Government Strategy on Children and Young People's Participation in Decision-Making.

    IE0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Maximise Participation and Understanding of Young People in Civic Life

    IE0022, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. Development of an ICT Strategy

    IE0023, 2014,

  42. Data Sharing and Governance Bill

    IE0024, 2014, E-Government

  43. Public Services Card

    IE0025, 2014, E-Government

  44. Single Customer View

    IE0026, 2014, E-Government

  45. Local Government Portal

    IE0027, 2014, E-Government

  46. New Local Enterprise Offices

    IE0028, 2014, Local Commitments

  47. Review and Enhancement of Complaints Procedures and Using Feedback to Improve Services Across the Public Service; a Review of Citizen Complaints Procedures Will Be Undertaken.

    IE0029, 2014, Public Participation

  48. Enhance Customer Engagement

    IE0030, 2014, Public Participation

Open Government Partnership