National Data Commissioner Update - March 2023

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National Data Commissioner Update - March 2023

We have quite a few updates for you this month as we work to help eligible entities join the DATA Scheme, make data requests and provide new tools to assist Scheme participants to comply with their obligations. 

There’s strong ongoing interest in the DATA Scheme 

We are helping more Commonwealth entities, state and territory governments and universities start the process of becoming accredited data users and accredited data service providers. Once accredited as a data user, entities can make a request for Australian Government data. Start your accreditation process today

The DATA Scheme Implementation Pipeline

Want to learn more? Register online for an upcoming ONDC webinar that suits you and your organisation today! Here’s what’s coming up:  

  • 4 April: Accreditation of data users for organisations. Register here 

  • 12 April: Creating data sharing requests on Dataplace. Register here 

  • 26 April: DATA Scheme 101: Overview of the DATA Scheme. Register here 

Dataplace is the digital platform ONDC is building for DATA Scheme participants and others to request data. Get on board by registering for one of our webinars, then start the process at Dataplace today! 

Take off on your data journey with the Data Inventory Pilot Program 

The ONDC has supported more than 20 APS agencies to help them discover their data. If your APS agency would like support or you want to learn from others about their data inventories, please email us at Email the same address to join our monthly meeting of program participants (the next meeting is 10am Wednesday 19 April). There’s also an option to join our Data Discovery Community of Practice. 

DATA Scheme Guidance – now available online to help your organisation 

Guidance notes are now available online. New checklist tools are also being developed to help scheme participants ensure they are authorised to share, collect, and use data under the Scheme. We are aiming to share these and more guidance notes with you next month, so stay tuned. 

Sharing data safely to deliver public benefit 

We love highlighting great examples of data sharing that makes life better for Australians. The ABS partnered with the Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Health, the University of Adelaide, Geoscience Australia, and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to analyse data from MADIP, a secure data asset combining data from across the Australian Government. This enabled them to learn more about people most at risk in heatwave conditions to provide better government services for vulnerable Australians in future heatwaves. 

Advice from the National Data Advisory Council 

The Council met for the first time in March under the leadership of newly appointed Chair, Rod Sims AO. The Council reviewed ONDC’s approach to providing guidance for participants to engage and effectively comply with the DATA Scheme. Members also considered timely topics such as mitigating data breaches, minimising harm in the event of a breach, and procedures for assessing accreditation applications. 

Good reads for the data community 

The Attorney-General recently released the report into the Privacy Act Review. The report’s recommendations include increasing the powers available to the Information Commissioner, penalties for privacy breaches, and requirements to protect personal information. 

The Productivity Commission’s five-year Productivity Inquiry, Advancing Prosperity, calls for better use of data and greater adoption of technology and proposed harnessing data as one of the avenues to improve Australia’s productivity.  It recommends the DATA Scheme be extended so Australian Government collected data can be shared with non-for-profit organisations and businesses.  

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s latest report on Notifiable Data Breaches between July to December 2022 shows that malicious or criminal attacks remain the leading source of breaches at 63%, with human error accounting for 33% of the total. 

The Australian Financial Review’s story on the DATA Scheme highlighted its focus on increasing the use and availability of Australian Government collected data in a safe and controlled way to deliver better outcomes for Australians. 

Save the date: 17 May 2023 - Australian Government Data Forum and APS Data Awards 

The Australian Government Data Forum: Pathways, Perspectives and Practice returns on 17 May 2023 at the REX Hotel in Canberra and online. It will be followed by the first-ever APS Data Awards Dinner in the evening. My office is a proud sponsor. For more information on these prime networking and learning opportunities for APS leaders and data professionals, visit the Institute of Public Administration Australia website links above, and check back soon to register.  

I hope to see you there!