27 March 2019
The first meeting of the National Data Advisory Council was held in Sydney on 27 March 2019.
Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan, congratulated Council members on their appointment. He emphasised the key role of the Council in guiding the National Data Commissioner on issues such as ethical data usage and building trust with the community, as Australia’s data sharing and release arrangements undergo major reforms.
The Interim National Data Commissioner discussed the aims of the National Data Commission and members discussed their ambitions for the National Data Advisory Council. Members endorsed the Council’s terms of reference.
The Council considered the policy framework for new data sharing and release legislation, which aims to improve access to public sector data, while strengthening data safeguards.
The Council also discussed the importance of a strong public engagement plan to build understanding and support for the new legislation.
Members noted that this is a very complex task and ongoing consultation is critical to build understanding and trust. Council members emphasised:
- the importance of building a strong evidence base and a clear narrative to support legislative change
- the need to build trust and transparency in government use of data
- that the new framework should be as simple and transparent as possible
- the need to include strong, and auditable, risk management frameworks in the legislation
- that the public service needs to improve data capability, at the same time as it transforms its culture.
Members agreed that the Council would meet twice more in 2019.