Data Availability and Use: Productivity Commission Draft Report - Oct. 2016

The Government draft report was released on 3 November 2016. The public is invited to examine the draft report and to make written submissions by Monday 12 December 2016.

The final report is expected to be handed to the Australian Government in March 2017.

Review the Data Availability and Use paper and the overview guide below. Also included is an infographic.

For more information, visit: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/data-access#draft

Contacts

Email: data.access@pc.gov.au

Free call: 1800 020 083

Scope of the inquiry

The Commission is to conduct a broad ranging investigation into the benefits and costs of options for improving availability and use of data. In developing recommendations, the Commission is to:

1. Examine the benefits and costs of options for increasing availability of public sector data to other public sector agencies (including between the different levels of government), the private sector, research sector, academics and the community. Where there are clear benefits, recommend ways to increase and improve data linking and availability. The Commission should:

(a) identify the characteristics and provide examples of public sector datasets that would provide high-value to the public sector, research sector, academics and the community to assist public sector agencies to identify their most valuable data
(b) examine legislation or other impediments that may unnecessarily restrict the availability and linking of data, including where the costs are substantial, and consider options to reduce or remove those impediments.

2. Examine the benefits and costs of options for increasing availability of private sector data for other private sector firms, the public sector, the research sector, academics and the community. Where there are clear benefits, consider ways to increase and improve availability. The Commission should:

(a) identify the characteristics and provide examples of private sector datasets that would provide high value to the private sector, public sector, the research sector, academics and the community in developing or providing products and services and undertaking research and developing policy
(b) identify the concerns of private sector data owners and provide recommendations on principles or protocols to manage these concerns
(c) examine legislation or other impediments that unnecessarily restrict the availability of data, including where the costs are substantial, and consider options to reduce or remove those impediments
(d) provide an update on existing data sharing initiatives in Australia, including the uptake of the credit reporting framework. Consider recommendations for improving participation in such initiatives.

3. Identify options to improve individuals' access to public and private sector data about themselves and examine the benefits and costs of those options. The Commission should:
(a) examine how individuals can currently access their data, including data about them held by multiple government agencies, and develop recommendations to streamline access
(b) identify datasets, including datasets of aggregated data on consumer outcomes at the product or provider level, that would provide high value to consumers in making informed decisions and any impediments to their use. Develop guidance to assist in identification of other high value datasets.
(c) examine the possible role of third party intermediaries to assist consumers in making use of their data.

4. Examine the options for, and benefits and costs of, standardising the collection, sharing and release of public and private sector data.

5. Examine ways to enhance and maintain individuals' and businesses' confidence and trust in the way data are used. Having regard to current legislation and practice, advise on the need for further protocols to facilitate disclosure and use of data about individuals and businesses while protecting privacy and commercial interests and, if recommended, advise on what these should be. The Commission should:
(a) balance the benefits of greater disclosure and use of data with protecting the privacy of the individual and providing sufficient control to individuals as to who has their information and how it can be used
(b) benchmark Australia's data protection laws, privacy principles and protocols against leading jurisdictions
(c) examine whether there is adequate understanding across government about what data can be made openly available given existing legislation
(d) consider the effectiveness and impacts of existing approaches to confidentialisation and data security in facilitating data sharing and linking while protecting privacy
(e) consider the merits of codifying the treatment and classification of business data.

In developing its recommendations, the Commission should take into account the Government's policy to improve the availability and use of public sector data (the Public Data Policy Statement) as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda and to improve government performance through the Efficiency through Contestability Programme, as well as the findings of the Public Sector Data Management Project.


The Commission should consider domestic and international best practice and the measures adopted internationally to encourage sharing and linking of both public and private data.