Dataset maintenance

All published datasets must be updated and maintained as applicable.

Routine or minor updates (e.g. correcting errors or typos) to ministry datasets do not have to go through the entire approval process. However, major structural changes (such as the addition or removal of data elements) to the dataset must go through the horizontal review process to ensure no new risks have been introduced.

Minor updates

To update the dataset:

  • Update the data file according to your internal process if the dataset is hosted on your own website and notify the TBS OGO.
  • Send the updated file to TBS OGO if the dataset is hosted on the Data catalogue on

For datasets published as an application (APIs), major changes should be documented in technical documentation hosted on the Data catalogue.

In situations where active maintenance and updates of a dataset are discontinued, or where any published dataset has to be replaced with a newer or modified version, the dataset description should be updated in the catalogue to reflect the "inactive" status, without restricting public access to the dataset.

Where custody and control for a dataset is transferred from one program area to another program area, the new program area must update the dataset description in the Data catalogue to reflect this.

Major updates

Major changes such as the inclusion of a new data element and publishing new datasets in the Data catalogue must follow the data risk assessment and publishing process. Ministries are encouraged to contact the OGO early in their update if they are unsure whether their update is minor or major.

Dataset removal

Datasets released as Open Data should not be deleted or removed from public access, except where a dataset is published in error.

If you need to remove a dataset from the Data catalogue, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Document the reason for requesting the removal of the dataset from the catalogue in a briefing note that is approved by your Deputy Minister.
  2. Work with your Communications Branch to prepare an issues note and Q&A, to help answer questions about the removal.
  3. Submit the briefing note, including approvals by the dataset custodian and the Deputy Minister to TBS OGO.
  4. TBS OGO will work with Cabinet Office to remove the dataset from the catalogue.
  5. TBS communications will update the House Book Note to reflect the revised number of datasets in the catalogue.
  6. TBS will also update the inventory to reflect the reason why the dataset will not be published unless it should not have been included in the first place.