Benefits

The Data Availability and Transparency Act (DATA) scheme will modernise and streamline data sharing arrangements to:

  • improve government service delivery.
  • inform and evaluate government policy development.
  • support research and development.
Government service delivery

Every day millions of Australians rely on services delivered by the Australian Government.

These services are underpinned by the government’s ability to use government data.

Now, more than ever, Australians expect government services to be simple, seamless, and secure.

The reforms will help modernise how government shares and uses data.

Data could be used to pre-fill forms, reduce waiting times by ensuring that people are directed to the right access point, and improve services so that the public is receiving the best outcomes, support and information.

Case study – government service delivery

Government services can be made simpler; often people need to provide the same information multiple times to different departments and agencies to access similar services.

Right now to apply for the Disability Support Pension through Services Australia and for support services through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), they must supply almost the same information, including medical evidence, to both Services Australia and the NDIA separately.

The new legislation would enable ‘tell us once’ type service improvements - so rather than having to give multiple areas of government the same, you could just tell us once.

Informing government policy and programs

Public policy delivers solutions to challenges facing our society and it’s important that these problems are solved using the best available data.

Government data can inform policy and programs in many areas such as regional development, drought relief, and the location of important services like schools, transport links and healthcare facilities.

Better data sharing will help the Australian and state and territory governments deliver more improved policies and programs that achieve results.

Case study – informing government policy and programs

The National Drought Map is an example of good sharing of government data from across many areas of government.

The map pulls numerous pieces of government held information from across different agencies and visually displays information relevant to a particular area. It includes rainfall patterns, soil moisture, agricultural types and employment by industries, but also useful information for users on drought conditions and support measures available in the area.

This information helps farmers, their families and their communities find out what government services and supports are available to help them manage during times of drought and prepare for the future.

The new legislation could help agencies bring together the information you need in more accessible ways, like the National Drought Map.

Research and development

Government data can be used to help researchers find the solutions to Australia’s current and future problems. Government data can help researchers improve health outcomes, create frost tolerant crops or improve traffic flow in cities. 

This would only be allowed if it is safe and secure, and where there is benefit to the Australian public.

 

The Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 commenced on 1 April 2022. Read here the Act and the Consequential Amendments.