Improving access to government data

Bern, 23.06.2021 - At its sitting of 23 June 2021, the Federal Council approved the report on the ‘Regulation system for the access to government data’. This text demonstrates the difficulty of creating a regulation system for access to government data due to the many conceptual, practical and financial obstacles. The Federal Council gives priority to the 2019-2023 Open Government Data strategy to improve access to government data.

The Federal Council’s report came in response to the postulate 19.3342 from the National Councillor, Jacqueline Badran on 22 March 2019, mandating the Federal Council to establish a simple system to regulate access to government data, within the framework of the OGD strategy.

It calls for uniform criteria allowing the supply and demand of data to be categorised, and to stipulate, for example, which data will be available without restrictions or on demand, free of charge or for a fee, and for which purposes. The aim is to enable economic stakeholders who use the data for purposes of public interest to receive preferential access conditions. In its report, the Federal Council concludes that it is not feasible to design and introduce criteria to identify different user groups and their needs or to predict the use of data for the public good.

Furthermore, the current infrastructure is unable to implement the system of regulation envisaged. The complete overhaul of the technical data management systems and processes would involve considerable costs. The existing organisational and legal framework would also have to be reviewed and developed. The report decides that in order to maximise the benefit of government data to society and the economy, they should be disseminated without discrimination and free of charge in the form of OGD. Publishing open government data reinforces transparency, participation and innovation in all sectors of society.

Open government data (OGD) are public sector data that the administration makes available in the public’s interest. They are published in open formats, are free of charge and machine readable so they can be reused free of charge and encourage the creation of new business models. 

Address for enquiries

Petra Keller Gueguen, FSO, Staff division STAB,
tel.: +41 58 463 62 04, email:

FSO Media Service,
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