Switzerland’s “Priority Open Government Data”

The “Priority OGD” are high-value datasets whose reuse will bring increased benefit to society, the environment and economy. The government must therefore ensure that higher priority is given to the availability of these open government data. The priority open government data are subject to higher quality standards in order to support their reuse and to maximise the benefits.

The concept underlying the identification and publication of high-value data is outlined in the ‘EU Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information’ (2019/1024). Guided by this concept, Switzerland has defined a list of “priority open government data” to ensure that the publication of open government data is both open by default and demand-driven.

The procedure for identifying Switzerland’s priority open government data is as follows:

  1. Together with the data owners from the other Departments and the Federal Chancellery, and on the basis of international recommendations, the FDHA defines the categories in which priority open data government can be identified (e.g.: geo-information, earth observation and environment, meteorology, statistics and mobility).
  2. Together with the government offices, a proposal will be made for possible priority open government data.  Criteria for identifying such data could be their potential for added value and new business models as well as current or potentially important user demand.
  3. The FDHA will then consult the interested parties to carry out a prioritisation based on demand and to define the final list of priority datasets.
  4. A mandate will be issued for each dataset: The government offices in question are to treat each mandate as a m ofrgency, examining the publication and ensuring as far as possible that the datasets are published in compliance with the criteria.

The first datasets should be defined and where possible published by the end of 2020. An evaluation will be made of the process and based on initial experiences will be extended and regularly reviewed.

The priority open government data identified in this manner will be subject to high quality standards to ensure that their potential is realised (list of quality standards under way):

  • High level of machine readability: The data are available via APIs or as linked open data, for example.
  • Full description: All meta information planned as standard will be published in machine readable form.
  • Minimal legal restrictions. To realise the data’s potential, only restrictions that are absolutely necessary will be applied, with due regard to the legal bases.

Further information on this process will be made available on this site and via the other communication channels of the Open Government Data Office.

You can contact us by email if you have any questions: opendata@bfs.admin.ch


Open Government Data Office Federal Statistical Office
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel