Open Government Data Policy

The Ministry of Technology and Communications issued this version of the policy in June 2020.

1 Introduction

Open data is digital data that is made available with a technical and legal  characteristics necessary for it to be freely used, reused, and  redistributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere. The data can be a simple  text document, an elaborate statistical file, an image, or an audio file. For  the data to be considered open, it must be uploaded in a format that  allows users to benefit from the data and re-use it in creative ways that  are beneficial. 

Open Data can facilitate the transfer of Data between Government  Entities in a way that supports the transformation of Oman into a  sustainable knowledge-based economy. Open Data can also enhance  government transparency, provide decision-makers with the data to  make informed decisions, generate business opportunities for the  private sector, and empower researchers and academics. 

The objective of this policy is to set a minimum standard and a coherent  approach for publishing Open Data collected or produced by the  Government of the Sultanate of Oman to achieve the objectives of Open  Data.


The purpose of this Policy is to: 

  • Create a practical policy framework that enables high-value  datasets to be released to the public; 
  • Simplify and facilitate the release of data by Government entities  in Sultanate of Oman; 
  • Define the principles of open data; 
  • Helps facilitate implementation of best practice open data  principles across the public sector in the Sultanate of Oman. · Represent the government position on how data in the public  domain should be treated 


This Policy applies to all government administrative unites.


Data: Any documents, photographs, audio clips, audio-visual works,  facts, numbers, statistics, and other forms of content collected or  produced by the Government Administrative Units. 

Government Administrative Units: All Government administrative  Units, Authorities, and Public Establishments, including the Companies  that Government owned more than 40% of its Capital. 

MTC: The Ministry of Technology and Communications. Dataset: A collection of Data in tabular or non-tabular format. 

Bulk Download: A feature to enable the User to download entire  Datasets collectively. 

Machine-Readable Format: Any file format that is structured in a  manner that makes it readily process-able by computer software. 

Metadata: The information explaining or providing additional details  about a Dataset. 

Open Data: Datasets made available on the website of the Government  Administrative Unit in a format that permits Users to benefit from the  Data and re-use it for any purpose including commercial purposes in  accordance with this policy.  

Open Government Licence: The legal instrument in Schedule 1.

Use: An activity governed by the Copyright and related Rights Law  promulgated by Royal Decree 65/2008 such as copying, translating,  adapting, renting, performing, communicating, and making available to  the public, broadcasting, and disposing of copies of the work in question  in any other manner. 

User: Any natural or legal person using the digital content available on  the website of a Government Administrative Unit. 


  1. Government Administrative Units shall release open data in  accordance with the principles set forth in this policy. 
  2. Government Administrative Units to assign and define a role  responsible for leading open data initiative and to establish data  management practice across the Unit.  
  3. Government Administrative Units shall publish their Datasets that  satisfy the provisions of this policy as Open Data on a dedicated  page on its websites 
  4. Government Administrative Units shall provide a feature to receive  requests from members of the public to make available additional  Open Data, and shall respond to such requests within a period of  15 working days by providing the requested Open Data or  explaining why such Open Data cannot be provided.
  5. Indicate on the website that the Open Government License applies  to the Open Data. See page 13 for an example on appropriate  reference to the license. 
  6. Government Administrative Units may display the © symbol along  with the name of the Unit and the year on their Open Data page,  but they shall not use the term “All Rights Reserved”
  7. Government Administrative Units shall not publish any Data  classified as highly confidential, confidential, limited, or restricted  in accordance with the Law on the Classification of State Records  and the Governance of Protected Areas promulgated by Royal  Decree 118/2011. 
  8. If a Government Administrative Unit publishes its Data on a third party platform, such as YouTube or SoundCloud, it shall apply to  this Data an open license to enable Users to Use the Data for any  commercial or non-commercial purpose and without imposing any  conditions on the Use other than attribution.
  9. Each Government Administrative Unit shall create an inventory of  all the Datasets in its possession. Such inventory must specify at  least the following information: 
    1. The name of the Datasets.
    2. Sufficient Metadata explaining the content of the Dataset.
    3. The person or department responsible for the Dataset within  the Government Administrative Unit. 
    4. The method in which this Dataset is populated.
    5. The frequency at which the Dataset must be updated. 
  10. Each Government Administrative Unit shall create an Open Data Internal Framework. This Framework must include at least the  following elements: 
    1. The mechanism for identifying and collecting the Data held by  the Government Administrative Unit. 
    2. The mechanism for determining the appropriateness of  publishing such Data as Open Data. 
    3. The mechanism for ensuring that the personal information of  individuals is protected when publishing Open Data. 
    4. The mechanism for promoting the Open Data published by  the Government Administrative Unit. 
    5. The mechanism for responding to requests from Users for  making available additional Open Data. 
    6. The mechanism for following-up international reports  relating to Open Data falling within the competence of the  Government Administrative Unit. 
  11. Each Government Administrative Unit shall assign the  responsibility of creating and implementing the Open Data Internal  Framework to a specific employee, department, or committee.


Government Administrative Units shall comply with the following  principles when publishing its Open Data: 

  1. Complete: Datasets released by the government should be as  complete as possible, reflecting the entirety of what is recorded  about a particular subject. All raw information from a dataset  should be released to the public, except to the extent necessary  to comply with valid privacy or security requirements regarding  the release of personally identifiable information. Metadata  that defines and explains the raw data should be included as  well, along with formulas and explanations for how derived data  was calculated. Doing so will permit users to understand the  scope of information available and examine each data item at  the maximum level of detail. 
  2. Primary: Datasets released by the government should be  primary source data, not in aggregate or modified forms.
  3. Timely: Datasets released by the government entities are  required to be available to the public and updated periodically  depending on the nature of the Data (at least on annual basis).  Whenever feasible, information collected by the government  should be released as quickly as it is gathered and collected.  Priority should be given to data whose utility is time sensitive.  Real-time information updates would maximize the utility the  public can obtain from this information. 
  4. Permanent: Datasets are available permanently (information  made available shall remain available) with appropriate version  tracking and archiving over time. There shall be proper  indication that an alteration has been made. (Refer to data  retention as per archive law – Royal Decree 60/2007). 
  5. Accessible: Datasets released by the government shall be  feasible and accessible (ability to locate and download content)  easily. Providing an interface for users to download all of the  information stored in a database at once (known as “bulk”  download) and the means to make specific calls for data through  an Application Programming Interface (API) make data much  more readily accessible. 
  6. Machine read-able: Datasets shall be reasonably structured to  allow automated processing and available in machine friendly  formats. Information shared in the widely used PDF format, for  example, is very difficult for machines to parse. Thus,  information should be stored in widely used file formats  (CSV,XLS, JSON, XML, etc.) that easily lend themselves to  machine processing. These files should be accompanied by  documentation related to the format and how to use it in  relation to the data. 
  7. Trusted: Published content should be digitally signed (for  example: using hashtags) or include attestation of  publication/creation date, authenticity, and integrity. Digital  signatures help the public validate the source of the data they find so that they can trust that the data has not been modified  since it was published. 
  8. Documented: Documentation about the datasets, format and  meaning of data goes a long way to making the data useful. The  principles state that Government websites must provide users  with sufficient information to make assessments about the  meaning, accuracy and currency of information published. 
  9. Non-discriminatory: Datasets are available to anyone, at any  time without having to identify themselves (with no  requirement of registration) or provide any justification for  accessing open datasets.  
  10. Non-proprietary: Datasets are available in a format over  which no Unit has exclusive control (data can be accessed  without the need for a software license). 
  11. License-free: Datasets are available with no restrictions on  dissemination and are not subject to any copyright, patent,  trademark or trade secret regulation. Maximal openness  includes clearly labeling public information as a work of the  government and available without restrictions on use as part of  the public domain. Government entities use Open Data licenses  to clearly explain the conditions under which their data may be  used. Examples include: Creative Commons, the Open Database  License, and The World Bank Terms of Use. 

Note: These principles are defined in UN Guidelines on Open Government Data


  • This policy is issued by Ministry of Technology and Communications  (MTC). 
  • Ownership of this Policy is vested with MTC and it will be reviewed  annually and when required.  
  • MTC conducts policy compliance audits and report findings to the  Cabinet. 
  • Any exception to this policy shall be approved by MTC.


Schedule 1

مثال باللغة العربية: يوضع هذا النص في أسفل صفحات الموقع الإلكتروني للوحدة
وزارة التقنية والاتصالات © وزارة التقنية والاتصالات ٢٠٢٠ – محتويات هذا الموقع مرخّصة بموجب الرخصة الحكومية المفتوحة – سلطنة عُمان.
English Language Example: To be placed in the footer of the entity
Ministry of Technology and Communications © 2020 – The content of this website is licensed under the Open Government License – Sultanate of 


Royal Decree No. 60/2007 – Records and Archive law

Royal Decree No. 65/2008 – Copyright and related rights

Royal Decree No. 118/2011 and 42/2015 (Information  Classification Scheme) 

Royal Decree No. 55/2019 – Statistics and Information Law

World Bank Guidelines for Open Data (

UN Guidelines for Open Data (

Open Knowledge Foundation (

Sunlight Foundation (

Open Government License – Oman (