From Strategy to Principles: Germany’s Federal Government Adopts the international open data charter

Open Data Charter
Published in
2 min readSep 16, 2021
Photo by Maheshkumar Painam on Unsplash

Germany’s Federal Government has adopted the Open Data Charter. Their Federal Government’s Open Data Strategy, which was published in July 2021, addresses three major areas of work:

  1. Increasing provision and quality of open data
  2. Facilitating the usage of open data
  3. Leveraging data competence to establish a true open data culture in public administration.

They also answered some questions for us:

How have you approached the guiding principle of becoming open by default?

The open-by-default principle was established in 2017 by introducing the new section 12a of the federal E-Government Act (EGovG). In 2021, section 12a of the Act was extended to apply to all Federal Government bodies and to include research data. By law and in principle all datasets generated by Federal Government institutions need to be made available as Open data (“open-by-default principle”). The rule only excludes datasets, for which either other law bills impede their publication, or other reasons such as personal data protection, intellectual property rights or reasons of national security and/or international treaties hinder their publication.

Based on your experience, what is your top tip for government officials implementing open data initiatives?

Spread the word on the benefits of open government data as much as possible — all sectors profit from open data: private sector businesses, non-profit organizations and civil society, and public administration as well.

What challenges have you encountered from developing and implementing your open data policy and which area would you seek most support from the Charter network?

Public administration bodies have a diverging set of tasks and resources. Finding and addressing these helped create an ambitious 5-year open-data strategy. While implementing the strategy, the Federal Government hopes to be able to contribute to international exchange on open-data policy, best practices and implementation in public administration and also gain further insights.

We are very happy to welcome Germany to the ODC Network and hope to strengthen our collaboration. Check out their Open Data Portal here.



Open Data Charter

Collaborating with governments and organisations to open up data for pay parity, climate action and combatting corruption.