Commissioner's message - August 2021

Interim National Data Commissioner, Deborah Anton discusses progress on the Data Availability and Transparency Bill.

It’s been a few months since I wrote to all of you who have kindly maintained an interest in the work of the Office of the National Data Commissioner.

It has been a busy period for us.

As most of you know, the Data Availability and Transparency Bill (DAT Bill) was introduced into the Australian Parliament in December 2020.

Since then, the DAT Bill has been reviewed by 3 Parliamentary Committees. The last of those reports by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee provides a useful overview of all 3.

Within the context of the Government’s broader legislative priorities, the Government is keen to progress the Bill in the Parliament this year.  

Once the DAT Bill receives Royal Assent, the role of the National Data Commissioner will become a statutory office holder, which is why you may have seen the release of a job ad for the National Data Commissioner.

While parts of my team are working on the DAT Bill, others have been hard at work on 2 exciting projects:

  • Dataplace, a future whole-of-government data request platform
  • Data inventories, a pilot program to develop data inventories for 20 per cent of Australian Government agencies.

I encourage you to read the 2 articles so you can find out how you can get involved in these exciting transformation programs.

I wanted to finish by thanking all of you for sticking with us over these last few months.

We’re conscious that this has been a period of some uncertainty on the progress of the DAT Bill and the implementation of the new data sharing scheme.

Our newsletter is our commitment to you to keep you informed, and we will continue to engage with you directly where appropriate.

I’ll finish up by acknowledging that most of you have probably seen that the ACT has gone into lockdown, the day before the team and I were meant to move into our new office at 10 National Circuit.

Instead, we’re getting used to our new home offices, which for me includes interruptions from my husband, kids and an attention-seeking puppy.

For those of you who are in lockdown, please take care of yourselves and I hope that we can see each other again in the not too distant future.


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