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Gov Knowledge Graph

GovKG is a data product built and managed by SURROUND. It contains multiple pieces of information about government; its structure, the functions it performs and capacity.

It is a single knowledge graph - that is, the data and definitions in it are in the form of a cohesive ontology and are all bundled together. In this form, all of its parts can be used together and, since our SOP platform that it's buit on provides the ability to select individual elements for use, any parts can be included or excluded as desired.

Which government?

GovKG started with Australian federal government data but it's been extended to include Australian state, local council info and some New Zealand government information. Since it's an extensible knowledge graph, it can be extended infinitely. We'll keep extending it as required in the areas of governments, government structures, taxonomies of government functions and important 'numerical' data that can be used with it, such as departmental finances.

It also includes several international taxonomies of government functions used by the OECD & UN.

Extensions for you

If you like the idea of GovKG and would like it extended for your particular government or scenario, please just Contact Us! It's almost certainly possible to accomodate your requirements since extension's the name of the game for this sort of data product.

Use Cases

We can demonstrate a number of Use Cases with the GovKG and describe the User Stories that motivate them. Here are just a couple of generic Use Cases to indicate the sorts of things that can be done.

Reapportionment

GovKG can be used to reapportion numerical data, that is, to transform data presented in one structure to another.

For example, perhaps you have budgets per department/agency and you wish to reapportion that to see what budgets look like per function of government with functions listed in one of the GovKG vocabularies.

GovKG can help you do this almost instantaneously!

Structural Change Modelling

Perhaps you want to estimate what the structural makeup of government would look like after some change to budgets per function, as might occur after a new Administrative Arrangement Order has been issued. This can be done by changing the weights of budgets or staffing levels per function and then converting values from function to structure.

GovKG not only includes government structures and functions and links between them but all previously states of government according to AAOs, back to 1901!

Other Use Cases

We've thought up a series of GovKG Use Cases that are based on our experience with the questions people often ask of government structure and function. Please Contact Us if you'd like the full listing.

GovKG reapportionment

Content Types

GovKG themes

Types of data

GovKG includes many items about:

  • government structure
    • including changes over time!
  • functions of government
  • capabilities of government personnel
  • crosswalks between structure & functions and different function taxonomies
  • numerical data - numbers from government departments' financial statements

SURROUND's additions

We've ingested a number of well-used datasets (see below) and 'up-skilled' them by defining formal data models for them which include data definitions and links to other defined data.

Overview

GovKG themes

Types of data

GovKG includes a number of datasets about:

  • government structure
    • including changes over time!
  • functions of government
  • capabilities of government personnel
  • crosswalks between structure & functions and different function lists

SURROUND's additions

We've ingested a number of well-used datasets (see below) and 'up-skilled' them by defining formal data models for them which include data definitions and links to other defined data.

GovKG's list of data items grows all the time as we are constantly adding to it but here's a relatively up-to-date list.

  1. Australian Government Organisations Register
    - a database from the Australian Department of Finance that "provides information on the function, composition, origins and other details of 1,277 Australian Government entities and bodies".
  2. Australian Administrative Arrangement Orders
    - the list of portfolios of (federal) government and the various matters that they handle. This is the complete dataset with changes from Federation (1901) until the present day.
    - this dataset was originally assembled by CSIRO during 2018/2019 and has been extended by SURROUND
  3. Portfolio Budget Statements
    - the database of the collected Portfolio Budget Statements issued for Australian federal government, over time.
  4. Commonwealth Records Series database
    - the database of Federal government agencies used by the National Archives of Australia to identify government record producers over time
  5. Functional Taxonomies
    - 7 taxonomic classifications of the functions of government in use in Australia
    - includes international taxonomies, such as COFOG, for mapping Australian government functions to international systems, such as the UN statistics division's reporting
  6. Financial Figures
    - Financial figures for multiple Australian federal government departments from 2017+.

Contents

GovKG themes

Details about how to access this product will be provided here shortly!

Australian Government Organisations Register

AGOR "provides information on the function, composition, origins and other details of Australian Government bodies". It is a dataset maintained by the Department of Finance and used to power systms such as directory.gov.au.

SURROUND has taken AGOR content from data.gov.au and used Semantic Web models of AGOR content developed by the CSIRO's Environmental Informatics Team to produce an ever-growing Seamntic Web dataset of AGOR content. Whenever AGOR is updated, we update our Semantic Web version of it so that you can follow AGOR changes over time easily - by using the Knowledge Graph approach.

Administrative Arrangement Orders

AAOs are change orders issued by the Australian Government to reorganise the Civil Service.

All AAOs issued since the formation of Australia were processed by CSIRO into a single dataset according to the Administrative Arrangement Orders ontology with data taken from the AAO documents published online by several government departments.

SURROUND has enhanced the AAOs model and rendering of AAOs data to present this dataset which now links in to other government structural datasets, such as AGO, and government functions, such as AGIFT.

Portfolio Budget Statements

Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) a descriptions of government agency budgets, per portfolio.

They are collated online in document form at https://www.budget.gov.au and as data at data.gov.au.

SURROUND has developed a Semantic Web model of PBS content and formulated the PBS data according to it so that it's commensurate with AGOR, AAO and other GovKG datasets.

This is a longitudinal dataset with multiple PBS issuances over time within it. The last several most recent PBS issuances are already contained in GovKG and we will be adding more - backwards in time.

Financial figures from this dataset are good examples of data that could be used for reapportionment, according to some of the expected GovKG Use Cases.

Commonwealth Records Series Database

The CRS Database is a database of government structural content (agencies, organisations etc.) owned and maintained by the National Archives of Australia. It is described at the National Archives of Australia's Records Search website.

The CRS DB was modelled as a Semantic Web dataset by CSIRO in 2018/2019 and SURROUND has filled out the Semantic Web form of the data from the NAA's up-to-date instance of it.

CRS DB is an excellent longitudinal dataset of government structure: it contains not only changes over time from 1901 to present but also ancestor and successor agency links.

CRS DB is used by NAA and others to identify the agents (people, agencies, organisations) within government responsible for records generation and, via Record Authorities, the functions of government.

Departmental Finances

The annual financial statements from departments, accumulated and presented in Semantic Web form.

SURROUND developed this dataset from publicly available departmental financial statements and using a Financies ontology that we developed.

Given that this data is now in a single Sematnic Web dataset, it is much easier to query across departments' fiannces, query values over time and to reapportion financial figures according to government functional vocabularies.

SURROUND will keep adding finances values to this dataset as they become available.

Australian Government Interactive Functions Thesaurus

The Australian Governments' Interactive Functions Thesaurus (AGIFT) is a three-level hierarchical thesaurus that describes the business functions carried out across Commonwealth, state and local governments in Australia.

AGIFT is maintained by the National Archives of Australia and is in wide use among government agencies as a general purpose functional taxonomy for government. AGIFT is published online as a Sematnci Web asset by the NAA, see http://data.naa.gov.au/def/agift. SURROUND has enhanced this asset with some additional semantics to make it more powerful and we have also created several new Linksets that map AGIFT to other taxonomies.

Several structural datasets within GovGK have their elements government structural units - annotated with the functions from AGIFT that they perform.

Government Purpose Classification

This taxonomy is a SKOS representation of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Government Purpose Classification (GPC) taxonomy, developed from its original form online at the ABS' website: Revised Government Purpose Classification 2006.

This taxonomy was originally developed by CSIRO and has been enhanced by SURROUND with additional semantic properties for Concepts and more Linksets joining GPC to other function taxonomies.

Local Government Purpose Classification

This taxonomy is a SKOS representation of the Australian Bureau of Statistics's Local Government Purpose Classification (LGPC) for use in the collection, analysis and dissemination of local government finance statistics in Australia.

This taxonomy was originally developed by CSIRO and has been enhanced by SURROUND with additional semantic properties for Concepts and more Linksets joining GPC to other function taxonomies.

Classifications of Functions of Government

This taxonomy is a pure SKOS rendition of the United Nations Statistics Division-issued Classification of the Functions of Government taxonomy.

This version of COFOG was produced by the CSIRO in 2019. It was developed from an earlier rendering of COFOG as another form of Semantic Web asset earlier by CSIRO.

Commonwealth Records Series Thesaurus

This is the Commonwealth Record Series (CRS)' thesaurus of government functions delivered as a SKOS vocabulary.

Originally developed for the National Archives of Australia by the CSIRO, SURROUND have enhanced this version of the thesaurus with additional sematic properties.

Terms from this thesaurus are used within the CRS DB dataset of government structure.

Classifications of Functions of Government - Australia

This taxonomy is a SKOS representation of the Classification Of The Functions Of Government - Australia (COFOG-A) - vocabulary. The COFOG-A data is from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

SURROUND have extended the original presentation of this dataset as a Semantic Web asset by enhanving its semantic properties and creating additional Linksets mapping its content to other taxonomies.

Government Finance Statistics

SKOS representations of several of the code lists / classification terms within the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (product 5514.0).

Terms from this product are used for, among other things, the categorisation of departmental expenses within the Australian Government Organisations Register.

So far, we have represented the "Types of expenditure" and "Source destination classification" as taxonomies but will representat more, as required.

AGIFT → CRS-Th

This Linkset - a specialised Dataset linking objects in two other Datasets - maps between Concepts in the AGIFT and Concepts in the CRS Thesaurus both of which are taxonomies of Australian government functions.

This Linkset was originally created by CSIRO in 2019 and it has been enhanced by SURROUND with some improved mappings in 2020.

AGIFT → COFOG-A

This Linkset - a specialised Dataset linking objects in two other Datasets - maps between Concepts in the AGIFT and Concepts in COFOG-A both of which are taxonomies of Australian government functions.

This Linkset was originally created by CSIRO in 2019 and it has been enhanced by SURROUND with some improved mappings in 2020.

COFOG → COFOG-A

This Linkset - a specialised Dataset linking objects in two other Datasets - maps between Concepts in the international COFOG and the Australian COFOG-A taxonomies of government functions.

This Linkset was originally created by CSIRO in 2019 and it has been enhanced by SURROUND with some improved mappings in 2020.

LGPC → COFOG

This Linkset - a specialised Dataset linking objects in two other Datasets - maps between Concepts in the LGPC and Concepts in COFOG both of which are taxonomies of government functions, the first of Australian local government and the second of generic international functions.

This Linkset was originally created by CSIRO in 2019 and it has been enhanced by SURROUND with some improved mappings in 2020.

GPC → LGPC

This Linkset - a specialised Dataset linking objects in two other Datasets - maps between Concepts in the *Government Purpose Classification* (GPC) to those in the *Local Government Purpose Classification*. It's not a complete mapping due teh ver real functions performed by Federal and Local government in Australia.

This Linkset was originally created by CSIRO in 2019 and it has been enhanced by SURROUND with some improved mappings in 2020.

Entity Establishment Authority

A taxonomy of authorities - legal instruments, government jursdictional bodies etc. - authorising the creation of government entities.

This taxonomy links Federal Australian government organisations to information that is the subject of machine-readability improvements: laws, regulation etc. As GovKG grows, we will expand not only this taxonomy but also the Semantic Web representations of the objects indicated by it (the laws and so on).

Fields of Research

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification: Fields of Research allows research and development (R&D) activity to be categorised according to the methodology used in the R&D.

This taxonomy is taken from the open publication of it on Research Vocabularies Austraia:

Public Service Act Body Types

Classifications of Australian Public Service entities according to the Public Service Act 1999.

The classifications are distilled from the Act within the AGOR dataset and this taxonomy is a representation of that list.