Open Government Partnership – Australia

2.2 - Build and maintain public trust to address concerns about data sharing

We will develop an ongoing and collaborative conversation with the community to build public trust around data sharing and integration.

Objective
Australia will actively engage with the community regarding how public data is being used to provide more targeted and effective policy, service delivery and program evaluation.

Status Quo
In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, effective policy responses require investment in joined-up data that can provide a strong evidence-base for policy decisions.

The New Zealand Government has invested in both a whole-of-government Integrated Data Infrastructure and enhanced analytical capability with positive results in terms of reduced government spending and improved public policy outcomes in areas such as human rights, law enforcement, health, education and justice.

While the Australian Public Service (APS) has made some progress in this area, we need to better inform the community about the benefits of data sharing and address public concerns, including perceived values, risks, and attitudes towards privacy.

The Privacy Act 1988 underpins the open data agenda and helps build public trust in data-sharing activities. The Government has introduced a Bill to amend the Act to make it an offence to deliberately re-identify personal information from open government data.

Data literacy across the APS is also critical. In August 2016, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet released Data Skills and Capability in the Australian Public Service to help build skills and knowledge in publishing, linking and sharing public data.

Ambition
To build trust about the use of integrated data and actively respond to community concerns about data sharing. To comply with international best practice on open data principles and participate in global fora on data.

Relevance
This commitment will advance the OGP values of transparency and public participation by:

  • providing greater transparency on how government is using the data it collects and protecting personal information;
  • enabling the community to engage with government and raise issues of concern;
  • enabling experts outside of government to inform public debate; and
  • providing more targeted and effective policy, service delivery and program evaluation.

OGP Grand Challenge

  • Improving Public Services
  • Increasing Public Integrity

Timeframes
December 2016 – End 2017

Lead agency
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Bureau of Statistics and Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Other actors involved
Government:  Attorney General’s Department, Treasury, Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Department of Social Services, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Australian Taxation Office and Australian Federal Police

Non-government: Open Data Institute Queensland and digital rights organisation

Milestones

  1. Adopt the International Open Data Charter.
    • December 2016 - Early 2017
  2. Establish an expert panel to advise government and to help communicate value and utility of data sharing and integration.
    • December 2016 - Mid 2017
  3. Develop an engagement process to demonstrate public-value examples and enable an ongoing dialogue with the community.
    • December 2016 - End 2017
  4. Work with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to improve privacy risk management capability across the Australian Public Service.
    • November 2016 - Ongoing
  5. Participate in the International Open Data Stewards Group.
    • Ongoing
  6. Responsive, targeted and ongoing engagement regarding public data use and integration.
    • Ongoing