Annual Priorities 2023-24
The National Data Commissioner (Commissioner) is the regulator of the DATA Scheme, established by the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 (the Act).
In our first full year of operation following the commencement of the Act, we have laid the foundations for the DATA Scheme – the best practice scheme for sharing data collected by Australian Government agencies, underpinned by strong safeguards and consistent, efficient processes.
With our focus now on enabling sharing under the Scheme, the Commissioner has identified three priorities for 2023-24. They are:
- encourage and support uptake of the DATA Scheme
- accredit and monitor Scheme participants, and
- educate and guide on best practice data handling and sharing.
1. Encourage and support uptake of the DATA Scheme
Our focus is on building awareness about the DATA Scheme and helping eligible entities participate and use the DATA Scheme to increase the availability and use of public data to deliver public benefit.
We are committed to supporting eligible entities to identify uses for the DATA Scheme, including using the Act to authorise sharing data that was previously restricted due to legal and other impediments.
We will continue to support and guide government agencies on using the DATA Scheme, in particular to build the National Disability Data Asset – an initiative of all Australian governments working with the disability community that will help better support people with disability, their carers, and the community.
To drive research and innovation, we will make it a priority to support universities to make their first data sharing requests under the Scheme.
We will support eligible entities to answer questions about how the DATA Scheme works in practice, better understand the scope of the legislation, and facilitate and assist with developing the first DATA Scheme data sharing agreements.
ONDC will take on board complaints and feedback regarding any shortfalls in administration of the DATA Scheme, and limitations of the legislation. This will help us improve our service offering and prepare for the statutory review of the Act in 2025.
2. Accredit and monitor Scheme participants
Our focus is on encouraging and supporting eligible entities to apply for accreditation to participate in the DATA Scheme. We are committed to supporting entities with their applications for accreditation, including making the process as simple as possible and assisting with onboarding onto Dataplace. We will continue to promote our guidance on expected characteristics so that entities are aware of the criteria they will be assessed against. We will endeavour to assess applications in line with our recently introduced service level standards.
Having accredited the Scheme’s first participants in 2022-2023, our focus will be on supporting entities to meet their reporting and other obligations, in particular notifying the Commissioner of events or changes in circumstances affecting accreditation and complying with annual reporting requirements.
Our monitoring activities will help ensure entities are complying with any conditions of accreditation and legislative obligations.
3. Educate and guide on best practice data handling and sharing
To build trust in the use of public sector data, our focus is on strengthening data handling and sharing across the Australian Public Service and delivering best practice institutional arrangements and transparency in data sharing.
We are committed to working with Australian Government agencies to develop their data inventories and create a searchable Australian Government Data Catalogue so users can find the data they want. We will further develop Dataplace so it guides Scheme participants and others to apply consistent and best data sharing practices, making sharing more efficient and helping them comply with the Act.
We will guide and educate Scheme participants and others on best practice data handling and sharing. This includes encouraging the use of the Scheme’s best practices when sharing public sector data even when entities cannot or do not need to rely on the Act to authorise the sharing of data. Another priority is to help Scheme participants to minimise the risk of a data breach and mitigate harm from any breach.