Data Sharing and Release Reforms

On 1 May 2018, the Government released its response to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Data Availability and Use (PC Inquiry). The Government committed to reforming data governance to better realise the economic and social benefits of increased data use, while maintaining public trust and confidence in the system. Underpinning this reform is a new Data Sharing and Release Act (DS&R Act) that will:

  • promote better sharing of public sector data
  • build trust in use of public data
  • dial up or down appropriate safeguards
  • maintain the integrity of the data system, and
  • establish institutional arrangements.

These principles recognise the many benefits to increased data sharing for citizens. Greater sharing of the data we hold can lead to:

  • more efficient and effective government services for citizens
  • better informed government programs and policies
  • greater transparency around government activities and spendin
  • economic growth from innovative data use, and
  • research solutions to current and emerging social, environmental and economic issues.

The DS&R Act could help streamline data sharing processes and improve the returns from existing public sector data. Importantly, a new framework will move the paradigm from one which restricts access to identifiable data to one which authorises release when appropriate data safeguards are in place.

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