Open government data (OGD)

Open government data (OGD) refers to data produced, obtained or collected with the aim of fulfilling a public service mandate. Provided that this is in compliance with the applicable legal framework, authorities should proactively offer unrestricted access to data in open formats subject to terms and conditions established on the basis of the currently applicable legal provisions. Such data may be reused freely subject to the obligations provided for in the applicable legislation regarding disclosure of data sources.

OGD includes a wide array of datasets in different subject areas such as energy, transport, demographics, education, data on regions, environment, justice and the economy.

Open access to and use of structured machine-readable open government data enables the delivery of efficient, transparent e-government services to the public, businesses, the public sector and the academic community. Users can also leverage these datasets for new applications. Open government data is essential to support informed political decisions, foster economic innovation and facilitate interactions between public authorities, businesses and the general public.

OGD master plan 2024–2027

The entry into force of the Federal Act on the Use of Electronic Means to Carry Out the Tasks of Public Authorities in January 2024 established a legal framework for the 'open by default' principle (Art. 10). On 29 November 2023, Federal Council approved the 2024-2027 OGD master plan setting out principles, objectives and measures to support the application of the 'open by default' principle and establishing the priorities of the federal administration. The publication of open government data should encourage transparency, participation and innovation in all sections of society. To uphold the 'open by default' principle sustainably and securely, the Confederation's administrative units will progressively open up access to this data in compliance with the OGD principles. The 2024-2027 OGD master plan also seeks to ensure that Switzerland remains both compatible and competitive in the field of OGD at international level.

The Open Government Data Office, which is attached to the FSO, has the operational lead and is charged with implementing the master plan in close coordination with the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA).

Documentation and implementation

Open government data master plan and documentation:

Website FSO

Portal for Swiss open government data

Handbook (in german)
This handbook provides information for data publishers on the publication process and applicable guidelines, best practices for communicating with data users and instructions for users on how to search for data and use the API.