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Sample policy document

Here is a sample policy document that could be adapted to provide several samples appropriate to different kinds of organisation, e.g. a Trade Union might have a very different policy process to a private company.

Open Information Policy Document


Digital media - all forms of information media that are stored and communicated between computers

Open format - a form of storage (format) whose technical details are open to the public, such that any individual or organisation can create software capable of using the information without loss of content or form. In contrast to a closed, or proprietary format.


Successful communication within our organisation depends upon our ability to share digital documents. In dealing with a competitive IT sector, that ability must translate between different products, such that IT purchasing decisions aren't constrained by an inability to migrate from one product to another. To conform with equal opportunities policy, documents must also be accessible to all employees and any individuals external to our organisation who we might communicate with digitally.

The only certain way to ensure that digital media remain usable between different technologies and accessible to all users is to store them in open formats. Open formats provide standards by which the software industry operates, and which all major products must support to remain competitive, e.g. HTML, PDF and JPEG. If software doesn't exist that can appropriately represent a particular digital media, a company, charity or other organisation can pay to have it written. With closed formats, on the other hand, the organisation that has copyright on the format is under no legal obligation to allow other software to work with the format, nor to make it accessible to all users.

To ensure the organisation meets these demands, this policy document outlines certain rules that, when implemented, will protect the competitiveness and accessibility of our organisation by adapting, where appropriate, open formats.

Policy resolutions

  1. All digital media shall henceforth be stored in open formats where possible
  2. Where there is no suitable open format, i.e. one that will store all of the required content and form, a closed formatt will be used for storing the media until an open format solution can be found
  3. Where closed formats are necessarily used, when communicating the media a copy will be provided in the most suitable open format available to complement the closed format
  4. This policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis, as suits the needs of the organisation, its employees and those it communicates with

Open Information Pledge

This policy document conforms with the standards set by the Open Information Pledge [1], and so certifies the organisation.

[1] Web site, postal address, whatever is appropriate