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New Zealand

Data Practice Transparency (NZ0020)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: New Zealand Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Stats NZ

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: New Zealand Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment 9: Increase the visibility of government’s data
stewardship practices
Objective:
To increase the visibility of data practices for government-held data.
Because the Government stewards and uses data on behalf of New
Zealanders it has a duty to ensure that this national data asset is well
managed, used responsibly and ethically, and protected.
The aim of this commitment is to provide a cohesive and integrated
view of the various components that guide how government collects,
manages, and uses data. This will provide New Zealanders with assurance
that mechanisms are in place to ensure government handles their data
responsibly, ethically, and safely.
Ambition:
New Zealanders will:
• understand how government is managing, using, and protecting their
data and be able to hold government to account.
• have confidence and trust in the management and use of data
government holds on their behalf.
Status quo:
Government holds a vast amount of data on behalf of New Zealanders.
This data has the potential to be an immensely valuable asset both for
government, and outside of government, driving innovation and contributing
to economic, social, and environmental progress.
Utilising data to produce meaningful insights will ensure that the way
services are designed and delivered is better informed; the evidence base
for policy development is strengthened; and data is used in operational
decision-making. Improving data practices will also mean that government’s
ability to meet the growing expectations of New Zealanders for quick,
effortless and smart services is improved.
There are pockets of significant progress in the way that data is managed
and used across government. However, government data practices have not
been consistently and cohesively designed and implemented with all-ofgovernment needs in mind. Poor government-wide management of data
limits its use and reduces the value that can be realised from the data for
the benefit of all New Zealanders. We need to ensure that government takes a collective approach to the collection,
management, and use of data held on behalf of New Zealanders. There is a need for
strong, consistent data practices to maintain trust and confidence, ensure privacy is
protected, and to foster the ethical use of data.
It is essential to have active engagement with New Zealanders to demonstrate the value
of data and create an open dialogue around data issues or concerns. Public trust and
confidence needs to be maintained and enhanced through deliberate and continued
engagement with the public.
Lead agency: Stats NZ
Timeline: October 2018 – June 2020
Commitment 9: Increase the visibility of government’s data stewardship
practices
OGP Values Transparency,
Accountability
Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil
the commitment
Start date End date
Develop and publish an overview of government’s
data stewardship practices
Commenced
August 2018
30
November
2018
Engage with citizens and government on the data
stewardship overview to ensure it provides visibility
of the right things and is addressing key needs
1 December
2018
31 April
2019
Promote the data stewardship practices to
government agencies and support them to
implement good practice
1 May 2019 Ongoing
Engage with citizens and government to identify
where effort should be focused to address gaps in
government’s data stewardship practices
1 May 2019 30
November
2019
(but then
periodically ongoing)

IRM Midterm Status Summary

9. Increase the visibility of government’s data stewardship practices [103]

Objective: “Because the Government stewards and uses data on behalf of New Zealanders it has a duty to ensure that this national data asset is well managed, used responsibly and ethically, and protected. The aim of this commitment is to provide a cohesive and integrated view of the various components that guide how government collects, manages, and uses data. This will provide New Zealanders with assurance that mechanisms are in place to ensure government handles their data responsibly, ethically, and safely”.

Milestones:

  1. Develop and publish an overview of government’s data stewardship practices”;
  2. Engage with citizens and government on the data stewardship overview to ensure it provides visibility of the right things and is addressing key needs;
  3. Promote the data stewardship practices to government agencies and support them to implement good practice;
  4. Engage with citizens and government to identify where effort should be focused to address gaps in government’s data stewardship practices”.

Start Date: August 2018

End Date: June 2020

Context and Objectives

The objective of this commitment is to increase the visibility of government’s data management practices so the public knows and trusts that government agencies manage the public data they collect responsibly, ethically and safely.

The commitment seeks to assure the public that the government is managing the ‘national data asset’ well on their behalf. It also wants more consistent all-of-government data stewardship so that government data can be used to drive innovation and growth in New Zealand and lead to better government service delivery, policy development and operational decision making. The Chief Executive of Stats NZ, as Government Chief Data Steward, [104] will engage with the public to demonstrate the value of government data, discuss their concerns and drive improved data stewardship practices across government. Action plan submitters want transparency about how government and non-government organisations use and share their data. [105] Better data management is a regular topic at GOVIS meetings and conferences [106] and is a priority for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner [107] who in May 2018 jointly released with Stats NZ the Principles for the safe and effective use of data and analytics. [108] Data security and sovereignty of government-held data stored outside New Zealand are ongoing concerns. [109]

This commitment will start a process to inform the public of government’s data stewardship practices and identify and act on public concerns. It therefore meets OGP’s access to information and civic participation values. The commitment is an initial foundation in establishing standardised practices as they relate to data stewardship.

The work develops and publishes an overview of government’s data stewardship practices, engages with the public on the overview, supports government agencies to implement good practice and continues to engage with the public. Following Stats NZ’s advice that this work will be regularly reported online and that subsequent work will continue through to June 2020, [110] the IRM researcher concludes the milestones are specific enough to verify.

If fully implemented as designed, this commitment which focuses on promotion of government’s data stewardship practices has a minor potential impact as it only offers incremental improvement on what is currently done. There is no parallel work driving implementation and measuring practice and impact. After completing both pieces of work Stats NZ could survey whether uptake has increased agencies’ ability to meet growing public expectations for quick, effortless and smart services, as described in this commitment’s status quo statement, and increased public confidence that mechanisms are in place to ensure government handles their data responsibly, ethically, and safely, as set out in the objective.

Next steps

If this commitment is carried forward to the next action plan or if there are improvements to the implementation of this commitment, the IRM researcher recommends:

  • public engagement to at least the ‘involve’ level of the International Association for Public Participation’s (IAP2) Spectrum of Public Participation, so that the public receives feedback on how its contribution was considered; [111]
  • that a methodology to measure changes in data stewardship practice across government agencies as a result of this commitment is developed, through a participatory process;
  • that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner participates throughout this commitment by feeding its protection and trust expertise into the work, as recommended by stakeholders. [112]
[104] The Government Chief Data Steward was authorised by Cabinet in September 2018 to set guidelines for the collection, management and use of data by government agencies.
[109] Raised by Don Christie, CE, Catalyst IT, 30 January 2019.
[110] IRM researcher’s meeting with Commitment leads, 14 February 2019.
[111] IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/pillars/Spectrum_8.5x11_Print.pdf, accessed 25 January 2019.
[112] IRM interview with Jan Rivers, 22 January 2019, and NZRise, 23 January 2019.

Commitments

  1. Engagement with Parliament

    NZ0012, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Youth Parliament

    NZ0013, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. School Leavers' Toolkit

    NZ0014, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Making New Zealand’S Secondary Legislation Readily Accessible

    NZ0015, 2018, E-Government

  5. Public Participation in Policy Development

    NZ0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Service Design

    NZ0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Official Information

    NZ0018, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  8. Review of Government Use of Algorithms

    NZ0019, 2018, Science & Technology

  9. Data Practice Transparency

    NZ0020, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Monitoring Information Management Practice

    NZ0021, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  11. Open Data Government Organizations

    NZ0022, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Procurement

    NZ0023, 2018, E-Government

  13. Open Budget

    NZ0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Improving Official Information Practices

    NZ0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Improving Open Data Access and Principles

    NZ0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Tracking Progress and Outcomes of Open Government Data Release

    NZ0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Ongoing Engagement for OGP

    NZ0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Starred commitment Improving Access to Legislation

    NZ0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improving Policy Practices

    NZ0011, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. BPS Result 10 – New Zealanders Can Complete Their Transactions with the Government Easily in a Digital Environment

    NZ0001, 2014, E-Government

  21. ICT Strategy Action 13 – Open by Default: Active Re-use of Information Assets

    NZ0002, 2014, Capacity Building

  22. National Integrity System Assessment

    NZ0003, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. The Kia TūTahi Relationship Accord

    NZ0004, 2014, Capacity Building

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