DataPoints - National Data Commissioner Update March 2024

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DataPoints - National Data Commissioner Update March 2024

The data news you need from the National Data Commissioner. 

In a recent address to the Australian Government Data Summit, I had the opportunity to reflect on just how far we have come since the establishment of the DATA Scheme two years ago as well as some of the challenges. This word cloud captures the government agencies and universities most actively engaged in the Scheme.


DATA Scheme participation by entity - the larger the font, the farther the entity is in its data sharing journey.

With our focus on facilitating data sharing, it was good to see more data requests being made under the DATA Scheme this month. To find out about making and responding to data sharing requests, you can attend our webinars on 17 April. Check out the registration links here and below.

Congratulations to the NSW Department of Customer Service who was recently accredited as a data service provider. For new applications like this one, we are meeting and, in some cases, beating our service level standards for assessing applications for accreditation – two months for data users and three months for data service providers. There are now 13 users and 10 data service providers accredited. For details check out the register of accredited entities here.

To make a request for data held by Australian Government agencies and apply for accreditation to participate in the DATA Scheme, you need to get on Dataplace and join the other 76 organisations that are onboarded.


DATA Scheme progress through March 2024.

A shout out to the three Australian government agencies - the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations – that completed their projects to develop and enhance their data inventories. The Australian Government Data Catalogue will draw on the data inventories of Australian Government agencies and be integrated with Dataplace to help users find data. A beta release of the Catalogue is targeted for May 2024. To find our more, please attend our webinar on 17 April. Check out the registration links here below.

The National Data Advisory Council met on 17 March and advised on actions to facilitate more data sharing and uptake of the DATA Scheme.  Reflecting on what we are learning from working with you to apply the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 as well as from your feedback and complaints, members underscored the importance of ONDC embedding a facilitative posture, improving and streamlining our services to make it as easy as possible for entities to adopt the DATA Scheme best practices and tools, and preparing for the statutory review of the Act  in 2025.

Want to learn more about the DATA Scheme and build your organisation’s data capability?

We are hosting webinars on Wednesday 17 April. Join us for one, or all, if you want to deep dive into the DATA Scheme and strengthen your organisation’s data capability:

  • Building your organisation’s data inventory 10am AESTRegister here.

The Australian Taxation Office will present on their Data Inventory Project, followed by a showcase of the in-development Australian Government Data Catalogue.

  • How to make a data sharing request11am AESTRegister here.

An overview and walk-through of the process of requesting data through the DATA Scheme using Dataplace.

  • Responding to data sharing requests1pm AESTRegister here.

An overview of a data custodian’s obligations to consider and respond to data sharing requests, and how requests can be managed through Dataplace.

Good reads for the data community

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported a 19% increase in personal data breaches for the six months to December 2023. Australian Government agencies reported 38 (8%) of the 483 breaches. Of the 38, most were caused by human error (68%) – personal information being sent to the wrong person, unauthorised disclosure, and loss of paperwork or a data storage device. Others were due to malicious or criminal attacks. The OAIC has identified the security of personal information as a regulatory priority. Its recent determinations point to the need for entities to have in place effective and up-to-date data breach response plans. 

In March, the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, launched the Working for Women Strategy: A Strategy for Gender Equality. We are supporting better availability of gender data through our Guide to Metadata Attributes Guide, our work on data inventories and the Australian Government Data Catalogue.

Good uses of public data

There is a growing opportunity to use citizen science platforms, such as iNaturalist, as an early warning system for the detection of exotic environmental and plant pests. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry worked closely with the Atlas of Living Australia to establish reporting and notification processes of suspect exotic pest detections. Following the success of this work, multiple jurisdictions have joined the new systems to better ensure timely awareness of, and responses to suspect pest detections. Check out the newsletter here.

If you have feedback or something to share in future editions of DataPoints, please get in touch. We are always interested to hear your stories, including how you have used data to deliver public benefit. Also, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn!