Bureau of Meteorology (copy) The functions of the Bureau are: the taking and recording of meteorological observations and other observations required for the purposes of meteorology; and the forecasting of…
Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann Minister for Finance and the Public Service of the Commonwealth of Australia (Cormann) issued two Government charging guideline documents in 2014 and 2015 that removed the delineation between basic services funded by the Australian Government and additional services which are user paid. These instruments are being mendaciously interpreted in 2019 by Cormann’s Department of Finance to coerce parts of the Australian Public Service into pursuing a course of setting charges at commercial value for public information that are traditionally free.
When implemented, the effect is Government double dipping. Hidden taxation that penalises national competitiveness and wellbeing. It reduces the potential benefits of public information by hindering its reuse and discouraging innovation, contrary to Public Data Policy and resetting the role of Government under National Competition Policy.
Despite the 2014 Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines being a total rewrite it is notably labelled as “third edition”. Cormann also introduced the 2015 Australian Government Charging Framework that can turn additional services from efforts to extend public value into value claims on users.
As individuals in a market economy, everyone has a natural inclination to charge for goods and services, but that idea does not translate into public interest when it comes to public information. Cormann’s populist approach reshapes public information from free public goods into paid information. This is an important policy shift with long term national consequences that warrants public discourse. This site consolidates relevant materials for that purpose.