Improving Australia's current data system

Building on our current initiatives to improve data availability and use

Productivity Commission Recommendations: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.14, 6.15, 6.17, 8.4, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.3 and 10.4

The Productivity Commission recommended substantial reforms to Australia's data system through the introduction of a Data Sharing and Release Act and new data governance arrangements. Beyond these legislative and institutional reforms, the Productivity Commission recommended specific actions to improve Australia’s current data system. These recommendations cover improvements to existing: data availability; transparency and discoverability; data integration and linkage; and data sharing and release standards.

'Improved data access and use can enable new products and services that transform everyday life, drive efficiency and safety, create productivity gains and allow better decision making.'

Productivity Commission 2017, Data Availability and Use Final Report

The Australian Government's response

The Australian Government has taken actions over recent years towards greater open data, while maintaining and strengthening safeguards needed for a trusted data system.

The Government will continue to take a system-wide approach to improving the availability and use of data, optimising the use and reuse of public sector data to deliver greater opportunities for innovation and efficiency. This will include:

  • taking a risk-based approach to releasing available publicly-funded datasets;
  • publishing registers of available publicly-funded datasets;
  • developing best practice guidance and standards on data availability and use;
  • working to identify and release high-value datasets;
  • streamlining data sharing arrangements; and
  • monitoring the performance of Australia’s data system.

The Government agrees to actively engage with the community on matters related to data availability and use. Engagement is key to the Open Government National Action Plan 2016-2018 and the Data Integration Partnership for Australia, and will be a core function of reformed institutional and governance arrangements.

The Open Government National Action Plan 2016-2018 commits to providing better access to government-held information and data, while improving privacy risk management capability across the public sector.