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ACS Congratulates NSW Government on Passage of Historic Data Sharing Bill

MEDIA RELEASE - ACS Congratulates NSW Government on Passage of Historic Data Sharing Bill

New Law Facilitates Sharing of NSW Public Sector Data Across Government and with New Data Analytics Centre while Ensuring Standards for Privacy and Security 


Thursday 19 November 2015, Sydney AUSTRALIA: The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – today congratulated NSW Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation, The Hon Victor Dominello, on the successful passage last night of the historic Data Sharing Bill 2015.

The legislation, which Mr Dominello announced during his Keynote Address at the IFIP World Computer Congress in South Korea in October, will require government departments to share data with his new, whole-of-government Data Analytics Centre (DAC) and with each other.

ACS President, Brenda Aynsley, welcomed the passage of the Bill through the Lower House of the NSW Parliament late yesterday, saying it would allow the NSW Government to improve the quality and timeliness of decision making.

“This is a bold initiative by an Australian State Government to seize the opportunities that big data and open data represent and to ensure that NSW Government departments and agencies have access to the most up-to-date and relevant data available to inform their decisions and strategies,” she said.

 “We’re not aware of any other government in the world that has passed legislation to ensure that data is shared appropriately between its agencies and to put a 14 day deadline on data requests. This clearly defined framework will require NSW Government Departments to ensure their respective houses are in order in relation to how they collect, store and manage their data, and that will allow them to reap the full potential of big data and data analytics for NSW constituents.”

Ms Aynsley said she was pleased to see that the Bill enshrines recognised standards for privacy and security to safeguard the rights of individual citizens. She also noted that the Steering Committee appointed to oversee the DAC included the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, the Customer Service Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner and the Information Commissioner.

“It is important for 21st century governments to demonstrate a strong capability to leverage the enormous potential of emerging technologies like data analytics to deliver new and better products and services. Given that the Acts that created government departments historically protected data within each function and actively limited opportunities for data sharing, this legislation is truly a watershed moment that should be recognised and applauded.

“I encourage other State and Territory Governments to follow NSW’s lead in taking steps to maximise the value of government data in driving productivity, improving the quality of decision-making and delivering wide-ranging benefits for the community,” she said.