The government currently shares public sector data through various different laws and mechanisms, with little consistency or a single point of oversight. The Data Availability and Transparency framework will establish a consistent pathway for agencies and researchers who want to share data. It removes the need for lengthy legal processes to establish authority, and instead focuses on applying important safeguards and protections to data sharing.
There is substantial public benefit in sharing data and significant costs to Australians when agencies lock data away unnecessarily. It may be tempting to keep data locked away, but this can mean Australians are missing out on the significant economic and social benefits that can be realised if the data is shared safely between agencies, or with authorised researchers and analysts.
Data sharing can make it easier for government employees to do their jobs. More accurate and up to date information means they can deliver better quality government services and programs.
The five Data Sharing Principles provide a risk management framework to help government agencies to share data safely.
The National Data Commissioner will support best practice through guidance and education, aimed at voluntary compliance with the legislation, and will escalate to a graduated enforcement model when necessary to protect public sector data.
Read the Sharing Data Safely Framework.
Data Sharing Agreements will be used to explain who, what, why, how and when public sector data is shared. It will outline steps taken to apply safeguards to manage risks and ensure data is protected. These agreements will be consistent across government and will be a requirement for all data sharing under the legislation.