Open data in Poland

Open data developments and directive transposition

Published on: 06/08/2021

The Polish Parliament unanimously voted for the law transposing the directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information on 23 July. 

Back in 2016 we wrote about the public consultation on the national open data program. Feedback received included creating a position dedicated to reuse of government data in each institution, a closer collaboration between the responsible ministries, proper transposition of the European open data directives, increased interoperability and adding new standards to the list of open standards. Since then, many of these issues were addressed by the Polish government.

Sharing and reuse of public information has been a focus for the European Commission for many years with the first legal framework being set up in 2003, when the PSI Directive was introduced. It was revised in 2013 and then took a new form under the new Open Data Directive, adopted in 2019 with a transposition deadline for the Member States in July 2021. Poland is one of the countries that transposed the directive into national law and it was unanimously adopted last month.

Some of the changes the law introduces include: a category of high-value data that have to be shared for free and are especially beneficial to the society, such as meteorological, geospatial and enterprise ownership data; dynamic data that is often updated needs to be shared consistently and immediately after an update occurs; publicly funded research data needs to be shared openly, especially if it is data placed in an official project’s repository or work tool; and that the national open data portal needs to be further developed. The document also states that an agency that is a part of the open data program can share or open up source code or other elements of software that was developed with public funding, however, it does not provide further details.

Poland is placed 7th in the ranking of maturity of open data among European governments and has led several national Open Data programs throughout the years with the previous program covering years 2016-2020. The latest report published by the government states that the number of downloads from the portal rose by 30% from 2020 to 2021, similarly to the number of resources available. Other activities have been introduced, such as the conference “The Future is Data”, training offered to public officials, and other dissemination initiatives.

While the country is actively developing its open data resources and developments, its involvement in open source is still scarce, with a lack of a legal framework, institutional engagement and dedicated part of the government working on the issue.

The open data law in full is available at the Polish parliament’s website (in Polish).