The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made some of its data freely available from the federal government's open data repository, data.gov.au, the organisation has announced.
The data, which was initially uploaded to data.gov.au at the start of the month, is drawn from ASIC's Company Register and will be updated monthly the organisation said. It includes company names, ACNs and ABNs, date of registration, and other details drawn from the register.
ASIC said it would flag changes to company details in each monthly update.
"ASIC supports the open government initiative to provide an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from ASIC," commissioner Greg Tanzer said.
"The move to data.gov.au lets us distribute consolidated information that was previously available via a subscription CD in a more efficient and modern way."
The licence for the data is not clear but data.gov.au indicates ASIC's dataset it is not licensed for commercial use.
"ASIC provides basic information free of charge wherever possible," an ASIC spokesperson said.
"However, the law sets fees for obtaining some publicly available information contained on our registers. Search products have different fees depending on the type of product and the size of the document."
ASIC said it plans to open up more data from its business name register. The organisation said that there were 76.2 searches of its registers in 2013-14, up 8.2 million from the previous year. Most of the searches were requested online.Read more: In brief: IP Australia releases opens patent, trademark data
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously described it as "really regrettable" that ASIC charges for certain data.
"Unless there are good reasons, to the contrary, government information should be free, easily discoverable, based on open standards and, of course, machine-readable, properly documented and therefore understandable, and licensed to be freely reusable and transformable," the minister told an Australian Information Industry Association analytics summit earlier this year.
Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p