National Data Commissioner Update - December 2022

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National Data Commissioner Update - December 2022

What a year 2022 has been for ONDC!


The DAT Bill passes and the DATA Scheme begins

The passage of the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 in March with bipartisan support was a major milestone. This world class, transformative legislation establishes the DATA Scheme – a new, best practice scheme for sharing Australian Government data, underpinned by strong safeguards and consistent efficient processes.


Standing up the DATA Scheme and ONDC

From the get go, we have focused on establishing the institutional arrangements to support safe, transparent and consistent data sharing. In line with our legislative requirement, the Scheme was open for business from 1 August, with all eligible scheme participants able to apply for accreditation as a data user and a data service provider.  

The Data Availability and Transparency Regulations 2022 were made in April. These bar some Australian Government agencies and some types of data from sharing for national security and other reasons. 

We celebrated another milestone in September when we accredited our first scheme participants – you can see the six data service providers on our register. This was a result of a Ministerial Rule.

In November, we released our regulatory approach along with our regulation and compliance priorities for 2022-23. Alongside this, we have recently released our statement of intent setting out how we will respond to the Minister’s statement of expectations.


Best practice guidance for Scheme participants

Just this week, we released Data Codes - disallowable legislative instruments to guide scheme participants on data sharing. The Data Availability and Transparency Code 2022 supports Scheme participants to apply and comply with the data sharing principles and privacy protections which are critical to fostering safe and trusted data sharing.  The Data and Availability and Transparency (National Security Measures) Code 2022 enables foreign nationals to be involved in data sharing under the DATA Scheme. 

We’ll be providing further guidance for Scheme participants in January to help them put in place authorisations to share data, to know when data cannot be shared, how to meet privacy requirements and when to use an accredited data service provider. There will also be guidance for data custodians on recovering the costs of data sharing.


Educating eligible participants about the Scheme

Another priority for us has been engaging with eligible entities to build awareness of the Scheme and helping them get ready to participate in it. We had more than 130 one-on-one meetings with DATA Scheme participants, presented at more than 40 public forums, and hosted 30 information sessions.  Encouragingly, we have received applications for accreditation which we are assessing and we are working with a pool of entities who are exploring applying for accreditation.


Tools to strengthen and streamline data handling and sharing

In June, we launched Dataplace. We now have more than 40 entities onboarded to Dataplace. You can now use Dataplace to apply for accreditation, make a data sharing request and begin to collaborate with a data custodian on a data sharing agreement.

Our Data Discovery Program is running at full speed. In April, we started a pilot with four agencies to support them to develop their data inventories.  We are now working with 18 Australian Government agencies to document more than 3500 data assets. Those data assets will be discoverable through the Australian Government Data Catalogue, a prototype we aim to launch for testing in 2023. ONDC is working with the state and territory governments to build the National Data Catalogue as agreed by Data and Digital Ministers Meeting in November.


Entries are now open for the inaugural APS Data Awards

We are encouraging everyone we know to get their innovative data projects in the mix before the APS Data Awards close on 13 February 2023. There’s an early data career award, a diversity in data award, and a data leadership award, among others. Award categories, how to enter and key dates are available here.


We’ve listened, learned and adapted

Thank you for your valuable contributions along the way. Your experience and expertise has made the DATA Scheme and our approach to implementing it better. A shout out to the ONDC team who have given their all and achieved so much in a short period, pivoting from designing the scheme to standing it up and transitioning from one government and one department to another. Thank you also to the National Data Advisory Council for your commitment, support and wise guidance. I am looking forward to 2023 and seeing the DATA Scheme fully operational and delivering public benefit.

We’ll send our next update in February.

Until then, our very best wishes for the festive season and new year!