Welcome to the first blog post of the new Public Data Branch! The open data and data.gov.au– external site team from the Department of Finance has merged with the Data Policy Branch (including spatial, NationalMap, ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council) and the Digital Government Strategy team from the Department of Communications and the Arts, into a new branch at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This provides a wonderful opportunity to prioritise better sharing and publishing of government data by putting data policy at the very heart of the public sector. Additionally, by merging the data and digital government policy agendas into one Branch we can also ensure that there are some very clear linkages between the work of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and our new team. We are all very excited by the new arrangement and look forward to continuing to work with you all.
Our responsibilities broadly include:
- Data Strategy – we will be updating policy, guidance and information about government data for data users and data publishers.
- Data Infrastructure and Government Engagement – making government data more discoverable and reusable. Includes data.gov.au– external site, NationalMap and working with data initiatives across the public sector. Also, developing government capability and skills to create a more data-driven and evidence-based public service including both specialist and generalist data skills.
- Data in the Economy – private and community sector engagement to work better with you to support economic growth, improved services and participatory policy development so we can all better respond to new challenges and opportunities.
- Digital Government Strategy – supporting the Prime Minister, and Minister Fifield as the Minister Assisting for Digital Government, in their roles leading the policy for Government’s digital transformation and ensuring that digital innovation and entrepreneurship are fostered throughout the Public Service.
The Digital Government Strategy team will be liaising with the Digital Transformation Office, providing feedback and guidance on the Digital Transformation Agenda (DTA), identifying gaps and emerging issues in the DTA to develop a forward looking digital government agenda and engaging with public and private stakeholders to inform a forward digital government agenda.
You will also be pleased to hear that one of our a key activities will be to work with agencies to publish much more open data with a focus on improving quality, including the quality of data formats, APIs and descriptive metadata. We will be implementing a quality framework so you will be able to tell the quality of all datasets at a glance, more to come. We will also be including in thedata.gov.au– external site catalogue high value unpublished datasets which will help you to find them, even when they aren’t publicly available yet. You can then talk to the data custodians to discuss how to appropriately access the data. We hope this will help government and the private sector to better identify existing useful data.
We are, as always, very focused on citizen privacy and security, and will make sure we work with all government agencies to have a consistent and high quality approach to confidentialisation of data. We take this very seriously and are undertaking new work to improve whole of government approaches to citizen privacy and security.
We will blog more about all our work in the coming months and look forward to your feedback on our strategy and progress.
Our Public Data leadership team is below, although we consult widely across the public and private sectors and other Australian government jurisdictions. You can contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Helen Owens – Public Data Branch
- Tim Neal – Data in the Economy
- Pia Waugh – Data Infrastructure and Government Engagement
- Judi Dawton – Data Strategy
- Peter Nettlefold – Digital Transformation Strategy
The Public Data Branch!