ONDC launches pilot project for the Australian Government Data Catalogue

Skip to main content
Main mobile navigation open

ONDC launches pilot project for the Australian Government Data Catalogue

Published 1 December 2021

The Data Inventories Pilot Program is an important initiative in Australia's Digital Economy Strategy.  The Office of the National Data Commissioner (ONDC) is delivering this 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.

The Data Inventories Pilot Program will support greater transparency of government data holdings and promote reuse, including with other jurisdictions, researchers and the private sector. The adoption of a consistent approach to describing Australian government data assets is an important foundation of the Pilot Program, and critical to delivering the infrastructure that will enhance discoverability and usability of Australian government data.

The ONDC is adopting the Core Metadata Attributes developed through the Data Champions Network ‘Collaboration in Metadata Management and Interoperability’ project for use in the Data Inventories Pilot Program.

The Core Metadata Attributes have been developed through a collaborative, cross-government project that aims to promote greater consistency in the approach to managing and using metadata within Australian Government Agencies.

Susan Calvert, Assistant Secretary, has recently joined the Office of the National Data Commissioner and is responsible for the Data Inventories Pilot Program and Dataplace. Susan is great supporter of cross-government collaboration and promoting a consistent approach to data infrastructure initiatives.

“Consistently describing the Australian Government’s data assets is an important step towards delivering a searchable Australian Government data catalogue.” Susan says.

“By adopting the Core Metadata Attributes for the Data Inventories Pilot Program, we can improve data asset discovery and connect data users to the data they need to deliver benefits to Australians through more data use.”

The ONDC anticipates that the Core Metadata Attributes will be utilised across the Australian Public Service, promoting a consistent approach to describing the Australian Government’s data assets. The Core Metadata Attributes are shown below.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Data Champions Network project Working Group, the work they have done to develop the Core Metadata Attributes will make a real difference to government data discoverability and transparency.” Susan says.

We are now calling on agencies to express their interest in the Data Inventories Pilot Program (the Program). Agencies who would like to know more about the Program can register their interest. While there is no hard deadline for inclusion, we are encouraging agencies to express their interest as soon as possible, to assist with program planning. Once you register your interest, our Data Discovery team will be in touch to discuss your needs and the best opportunities for your agency to participate in this multi-year program.

The ONDC’s Data Discovery team welcome your participation and remain flexible, tailoring an approach to suit all levels of data maturity.

Core Metadata Attributes
Name Definition Description/ Example
Identifier The unique identifier of the asset. Unique and persistent identifier to the metadata record (landing page). eg http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/134668 
Title The name or title by which the asset is known.  Free text (may follow a naming convention)
Description A descriptive statement of the asset Free text
Date Modified The most recent date the data asset was changed, updated or modified. ISO8601 - date element interchange format e.g. YYYYMMDD
Update Frequency The frequency at which new, revised or updated versions of this data asset are made available.  The frequency at which new, revised or updated versions of this data asset are made available.
Location The geographic area the asset applies to. Default Australia e.g State/ Territory, Gazetted locations, Mesh blocks Statistical Areas, LGAs etc.
Temporal coverage from The start date of the period for which this asset is applicable ISO8601 - date element interchange format
Temporal coverage to The end date of the period for which this asset is applicable ISO8601 - date element interchange format
Point of Contact The relevant contact information from which information for the asset can be obtained. E.g. business owner, technical owner, data steward, creator, organisation, responsible agent, organisation responsible for producing the asset, client services, etc.
Access URL The file path and/ or URL that gives access to a distribution of the resource e.g. C:\Oracle\11.2.0 e.g. http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/134668 
Access Rights A statement that provides information on access to the data asset Best practice to create a picklist of licences appropriate to your business purposes. e.g. for internal use only
Licence A legal document under which the asset is made available Organisations may determine what their field response will be. e.g. CC-BY 4.0
Security Classification The security classification applied to the asset as specified by the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework. e.g. Protected
Sensitive Data The indicator of whether the data asset contains sensitive data.  Agencies should develop a code list relevant to them. Suggested code list: Personal, Commercial, Legal, Environmental, Cultural
Legal Authority The legal mandate under which the asset was collected, created, received, used or disclosed. The legal authority/legislation for the existence of the data. Could include MOUs, Legislation, Machinery of Government, Policy etc. authority. E.g. (Australian Government) Federal Register of Legislation
Disposal Information about current records authorities and the disposal actions that relate to the data asset. A statement on the disposal information of the data asset according the National Archives Act. Could include any records authority, disposal action, and disposal trigger date.
Data Custodian The data custodian(s) of the data, according to the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022. The specification of the Commonwealth body that controls the data and has the right to deal with the data. Free text OR picklist OR standard statement
            e.g. Geoscience Australia.
Data Status A status that describes the state of progression or registration of the data asset completed, historicalArchive, obsolete, onGoing, planned, required, underDevelopment, final, pending, retired, superseded, tentative, valid, accepted, notAccepted, withdrawn, proposed, deprecated
File size The size of the asset in bytes E.g. 15 KB
Format The file format of the data distribution.  A human-readable description of the file format of this data set distribution. e.g. csv, shp, pdf, sde, txt, xlsx, etc.
Keyword A keyword or tag describing the asset. Controlled vocabulary of some description, A classification scheme, with individual keywords being represented as classification scheme item values.
Language Language of the asset. A language of the item. This refers to the natural language used for textual metadata (i.e. titles, descriptions, etc.) of a catalogued asset (i.e. dataset or service)
Publish Date The date on which the asset was formally issued or made available. ISO8601 - data element interchange format - representation of date and time e.g. YYYYMMDD
Publisher The name of an entity responsible for making the asset available. The specification of the individuals or organizations responsible for the publication of the data set. Free text OR picklist OR standard statement. e.g. Geoscience Australia.
Purpose A descriptive summary of the intentions with which the asset was developed. Free text
Resource Type The category of asset being described. Should be a centrally managed list of recognised Australian Government types. e.g. 19115 scopeCode list: dataset, series, software, service (as in API), model, document, repository, product, application etc.