VENDORiQ: New Australian Data Sharing Scheme to Support Government Agencies and Universities

With the passing of the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022, it is expected to make data sharing between government agencies and universities easier. How will this impact data usage and provision of potentially sensitive domestic data?

The Latest

13 September 2022: Federal, state and territory government agencies and universities in Australia can now apply for accreditation as data providers and data users through the passage of the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022. The Office of the National Data Commissioner (ONDC) will enforce data sharing, ethics and privacy principles protections in the agreements between parties involved.

Why it’s Important

The passing of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill in March paves the way for the support of a more robust data maturity approach in the country through overriding 500 provisions in 175 pieces of the existing legislation, which includes banning foreign parties from seeking accreditation to improve data security.

IBRS believes that this is an important step towards the advancement of reproducible research and a reduction in barriers to access siloed data in many organisations. It will also encourage a more reductionist thinking not only in academia but also in public agencies where careful scrutiny and verification of research is highly critical, especially when eliminating data-driven decisions and policies that were formulated based on false-positives and biases.

However, this can also run the risk of researchers hesitating to share their data after spending a considerable amount of time in collecting and preparing their research. It will also put them at a disadvantage when others use their data and publish their findings ahead of the original data gatherers. The government must develop an incentive scheme through funding and a priority list for stakeholders for future projects to reward researchers who originate data.

Who’s impacted

  • Public sector policy teams
  • Data analytics teams

What’s Next?

Enterprises can actively pursue collaboration with universities in funding forward-thinking research that will produce critical data. This will encourage university faculty and staff to participate and produce useful findings as a form of incentive when sharing their data to accredited agencies and other universities. Likewise, the funding enterprises will be the first to release the findings and leverage it in their operations ahead of competitors.

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