Submission to Data Sharing and Release Issues for Consultation

A submission has been made in response to the Issues Paper for Consultation recently released pertaining to New Australian Government Data Sharing and Release Legislation. The Issues Paper outlines key concepts and principles which may guide development of the new data sharing and release arrangements. The University of Melbourne response identified the opportunity for the University to assist in the develop of appropriate approaches with the possible development of a Protocol that would guide the use, access and storage of government-held health data at the University. Such a Protocol, once established, could serve as  a model for other organisations and may also assist and guide the development of a suitable framework for the Data Sharing and Release Bill.

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About the Issues Paper for Consultation

In early 2016,  the Treasurer asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the benefits and costs of options for increasing the availability and improving the use of public and private sector data by individuals and organisations. On 8 May 2017 the Australian Government tabled the Productivity Commission’s Data Availability and Use Inquiry (PC Inquiry). The Inquiry made 41 recommendations aimed at overcoming barriers and issues with Australia's current data system to move from one based on risk avoidance, to one based on value, choice, transparency and confidence.

On 1 May 2018, the Australian Government released its response to the PC Inquiry. The Government has indicated it is committed to reforming data governance within government to better realise the benefits of increased data use, while maintaining trust and confidence in the system. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Issues Paper for Consultation has recently been released with the intent to explore issues related to the implementation of data governance reforms, including the establishment of the National Data Commissioner and introduction of Data Sharing and Release legislation.