The Australian Government, in consultation with State and Territory governments, should establish a process whereby public (and in some exceptional cases, private) datasets are nominated and designated as National Interest Datasets (NIDs).

This process should be public, driven by the National Data Custodian, and involve:

  • The National Data Custodian accepting nominations for NIDs, assessing their public interest merits and, after consideration by the Government, referring selected nominations to a public scrutiny process. Designation would occur via a disallowable instrument on the recommendation of the National Data Custodian.
  • The establishment of a parliamentary committee, or addition of such a role to the work of an existing parliamentary committee, to conduct public scrutiny of nominations for NIDs.

The process of nomination should be open to the States and Territories in order to cover linked datasets.

This process should be in place by the end of 2018, as part of the legislative package to implement these reforms.