On 29 November 2019, Minister Stuart Robert addressed the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).
This is an extract of Minister Robert's speech, to read the speech in full, visit www.mhs.gov.au/transcripts/2019-11-29-aiia-address.
4. DATA AVAILABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT
With agencies seeking to better coordinate and connect with each other for the purpose of serving our customers, data plays an increasingly important role.
Currently there are over 500 privacy and secrecy provisions in legislation, built up over 100 years, many of which are no longer fit for purpose.
The result of these provisions is a siloed approach to service delivery that has generated a plethora of forms, collecting the same data from the same customers again and again and again.
Following the 2017 Productivity Commission Report into Data Availability and Use, we have embarked on data reforms that will establish stronger safeguards and enable Government to use data more effectively and securely to deliver services in a way that meets the expectations of the Australian public.
As part of getting these reforms right, we have engaged widely and consulted on an Issues Paper in July-August last year, followed by a Discussion Paper in September-October this year.
We received many submissions, engaged in roundtables and talked to thousands of people from government, industry, academics, privacy and community groups and the general public across the country and heard that people want the benefits of data being available across the government, such as:
- people and businesses having more convenient access to the information and services they need, without having to contact multiple areas of government to provide the same data and details;
- academics, scientists and innovators having greater access to public sector data to research how to make our economy, environment and society better into the future; and finally
- having better government decision-making, such as where to prioritise education investment or fund health services that achieve the best outcomes for patients.
We also heard that people want to have the confidence that the government is managing data safely and securely, with their best interest in mind.
We are taking this feedback on board and, to send a strong signal about our commitment to do so, we will progress the data sharing and release legislation under the name of Data Availability and Transparency Act (DATA).
This reflects our commitment to continuing to evolve our framework to get it right, because in this space it is absolutely paramount that Australians have the trust and confidence that we are doing this for their benefit.
I aim to introduce this important legislation by 30 June 2020.