Germany signed the G8 Open Data Charter in 2013 and has been a member of the Open Government Partnership since 2016. Since 2006, it has been possible to inspect documents and files of the Federal Administration in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (IFG) of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, the publication was sometimes limited to information that had previously been requested. According to the guiding principle "open by default", a standard publication of administrative data should be aimed for in the long term.
In 2014, the Federal Government's National Action Plan Implementation of the G8 Open Data Charter was published, in which the Federal Government committed itself to concrete measures in accordance with the internationally recognised Open Data principles. Accordingly, further statutory Open Data regulations based on the GeoNutzV should be enacted. GovData is to act as a central data portal for the federal government, the Länder and local authorities, whereby many federal authorities were obliged to publish at least two data sets there. Specifically, data sets on the topics of budget and finance, geodata, elections and statistics were named and should be made public in a structured form.
Act on the Promotion of Electronic Administration (E-Government Act - EGovG) § 12a Open data of the authorities of the direct federal administration
As a recommendation for the uniform licensing of open administrative data, the GovData working group in cooperation with the federal government, the federal states and the municipalities developed the two licenses Data License Germany - Zero - Version 2.0 and Data License Germany - Attribution - Version 2.0, which each permit unrestricted use of data according to the Open Data principles and were confirmed by the Council of Experts of the Open Definition as conforming to the definition (see https://opendefinition.org/licenses/).
While the Federal Government is striving for a pioneering role in the field of Open Data and is actively promoting the goals of Open Government, developments at the state level are very heterogeneous. Over the past 20 years, most federal states have enacted their own Freedom of Information Acts (IFGs) and Transparency Acts. Comparable regulations have so far been lacking in the states of Lower Saxony, Hessen, Saxony and Bavaria, some of which are in the draft stage (as of 7 May 2018).