Government response to Productivity Commission Inquiry into Data Availability and Use

The Turnbull Government has just released its response to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Data Availability and Use. A full copy of the Government’s response is accessible here.

The Australian Government will invest $65 million over the forward estimates to reform the Australian data system and introduce a range of measures to implement the Productivity Commission’s recommendations. There are three key features underpinning these reforms:

A new Consumer Data Right will give citizens greater transparency and control over their own data.

A National Data Commissioner will implement and oversee a simpler, more efficient data sharing and release framework. The National Data Commissioner will be the trusted overseer of the public data system.

New legislative and governance arrangements will enable better use of data across the economy while ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to protect sensitive information

Overall, Research Australia welcomes reform in this space, particularly when we’re seeing health and medical research positioned as a key player in the national conversation on data. Former Australian of the Year and respected medical researcher Prof Fiona Stanley is cited by the Government as a key proponent of data reforms.

Research Australia’s own submission to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Inquiry into Data Availability and Use has been considered in the Government’s response and you’ll see Research Australia quoted:

“Some 91 per cent of Australians would be willing to share their de-identified medical data if it went towards research purposes.” Research Australia, 2016

Research Australia will be discussing with relevant Ministers how the Government proposes including the States and Territories in its reform agenda.

Research Australia is currently reviewing the Government’s response and will provide more detailed commentary in the following days.

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