Lead implementing agency/actor
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Government data offers significant opportunity for innovation in Government services, economic enterprise, research and development and transparency.
The Productivity Commission identified existing data governance arrangements are complex and prevent the use and reuse of data. The PC found barriers to sharing include a dense web of legislative requirements, a culture of risk aversion and a lack of a whole of government approach. The PC found these barriers could be addressed through reforms to the way data sharing and use is governed.
The Australian Government has committed to implementing a simpler, more efficient data sharing and release framework by establishing:
- a new Commonwealth Data Sharing and Release Act to streamline access and use of data, and
- a new National Data Commissioner (NDC) to oversee the framework and legislation, and issue guidance and support to agencies to meet the new requirements.
The new Data Sharing and Release Act will:
- promote better sharing of public sector data
- build trust in use of public data
- dial up or down appropriate safeguards
- maintain the integrity of the data system, and
- establish institutional arrangements.
What is the commitment?
In implementing the reforms, PM&C commits to consulting across government, through the new National Data Advisory Council (see current Action Plan), with the Open Government Forum and with the public including businesses, civil society groups and research and non‑profit sectors. The National Data Advisory Council will be a multi-disciplinary expert panel drawn from public sector and civic society organisations.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
The reforms aim to promote better sharing of public sector data while building the public’s trust in use of public data by ensuring appropriate safeguards and integrity in the data system. To do this, we need to ensure that the implementation of the reforms is consistent with community values and expectations. This commitment will build consultation into the implementation and monitoring of the reforms.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
This commitment for these reforms is relevant to several OGP values in the following ways:
Access to information
- The reforms, in particular the Data Sharing and Release Act, will streamline the sharing of data held by government to those within and external to the system while maintaining strong safeguards around data access.
- This commitment will build consultation into the implementation and monitoring of the reforms, including through the National Data Advisory Council (a commitment under the current National Action Plan).
- The Data Sharing and Release Act will require increased transparency on how data is shared across government.
- Greater sharing and better use of data will improve agencies’ ability to evaluate policies and programs effectively.
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable
|Start Date:||End Date:|
Appoint National Data Commissioner
|Q3 2018||Q4 2019|
Develop legislation, including public consultation
|Q3 2018||Q4 2019|
Establish National Data Advisory Council to advise the National Data Commissioner
|Q3 2018||Q4 2019|
National Data Commissioner issues first guidance and standards
|Q3 2019||Q3 2020|
Data and Digital Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: DataLegislation@pmc.gov.au
Other actors involved
State actors: All Australian Public Service entities using data will be consulted through Government processes, including the Attorney-General’s Department, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the National Archives of Australia. The Australia Bureau of Statistics will provide technical guidance and support to the National Data Commissioner.
CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups: Specific organizations not currently known, but expect that a wide range will be consulted in the development of the legislation.
Is this draft commitment specific, relevant, and ambitious?
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The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in July, the Forum will be asked to consider feedback and make final recommendations to government on the form of Australia's second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20.