Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022
The Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 (the Act) commenced on 1 April 2022.
The Act was a key recommendation from the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Data Availability and Use (2017), which highlighted the value of our national data set.
Read the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022, the Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Act 2022 (amendments made by the DATA Scheme to other Commonwealth laws), the revised Explanatory Memorandum and the Data Availability and Transparency Regulations 2022.
The Act establishes the DATA Scheme under which Commonwealth bodies are authorised to share their public sector data with Accredited Users. Accredited Users are authorised to collect and use the data, where the requirements of the Act are met.
The objectives of the Act are to:
- serve the public interest by promoting better availability of public sector data
- enable the sharing of public sector data consistently with the Privacy Act 1988 and use of appropriate security safeguards
- enhance integrity and transparency in sharing public sector data
- build confidence in the use of public sector data, and
- establish institutional arrangements for sharing public sector data.
The Act establishes the role of the National Data Commissioner, who is the regulator for the DATA Scheme. The Commissioner provides advice and guidance about the Scheme, as well as education and support for best practice data handling and sharing.
The Commissioner’s regulatory functions include accrediting Accredited Data Service Providers and Australian universities.
The Commissioner also has functions under the Act relating to handling complaints and powers to require information and to assess, monitor and investigate Scheme entities.
The Minister has the function of accrediting Commonwealth, State and Territory bodies as Accredited Users.
Participants in the DATA Scheme
There are three types of participants in the Scheme.
Data Custodians are Commonwealth Government bodies who control public sector data. Data Custodians do not opt-in to the DATA Scheme – they are automatically participants.
Accredited Users are Commonwealth, state and territory government bodies, and Australian universities who are accredited to obtain and use Australian Government data. Entities must apply to become accredited as a data user.
Accredited Data Service Providers are Commonwealth, state and territory government bodies, and Australian universities. They provide complex data integration, de-identification and secure data access services to support data sharing. Entities must apply to become accredited as a data service providers.
Some Australian Government entities are excluded from participating. Foreign entities are unable to access data under the DATA Scheme.