New pilot program to deliver a government-wide data catalogue

Australian Bureau of Statistics director, Adam Harris provides an overview of the program.

The Office of the National Data Commissioner (ONDC) has received funding in the 2021-22 Federal Budget to deliver a pilot program to develop data inventories for 20 per cent of Australian Government agencies. These data inventories will provide the foundation for a public, searchable catalogue of government-held data assets.

Adam Harris leads a team from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that is embedded in the ONDC, and is keen to support work on this new pilot program.

“The Australian Government has made some big commitments to improving access to and use of government data, and understanding what we have is an important part of that.” Adam says. 

“The Data Inventories pilot program is expected to develop a consistent approach to documenting data assets held across Australian Government agencies.”

Over the period 2022 to 2024, the Data Inventories project will see small co-design teams deployed to selected Australian Government agencies to help build or update their data inventories.

These data inventories will include key common descriptors that will be drawn into a searchable catalogue of government-held data assets.

Adam is enthusiastic about the benefits of making government-held data more discoverable to help Australia to transition to a data driven economy.

“There is tremendous potential to be realised through increasing the transparency of government data holdings and promoting safe sharing and use of these data. Creating a searchable catalogue of government-held data is a great step towards this goal.”

The catalogue of government-held data will not hold the data assets that it describes, rather it provides a starting point for those wishing to seek out government data and apply to the relevant data custodian for safe access to the data.

The team at the ONDC would like to hear from APS staff, departments and agencies who would like to participate in the project.

There are opportunities for:

  • Australian Government agencies that would like to work with a co-design team to develop or improve their data inventory
  • high-performing APS staff at the APS5-6 level, preferably with a background or interest in data, who would like to join ONDC for a period to be part of project team.

Email information@datacommissioner.gov.au if you would like to know more.

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