The Federal Government is teaming up with State and Territory leaders to help accelerate the delivery of digital services for all Australians.
The Australian Digital Council met for the first time in Sydney on Friday to discuss a range of data sharing initiatives.
“It’s exciting to see our Federation in action with the Commonwealth, States and Territories all agreeing to put our political differences aside and work together to improve the lives of those that we represent,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who opened proceedings.
“Through greater collaboration, we can simplify services, cut red tape and reduce the compliance burden on small and medium sized businesses when interacting with governments.”
Chairing the council meeting was Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan.
Also in attendance were the respective data or digital Minister for each state and territory.
“The digital revolution the world is currently undergoing presents governments with enormous opportunities to significantly improve the services we deliver, ensuring they’re fit for purpose, simple, convenient and cost effective,” Keenan said.
“Until now though, jurisdictions have been going it alone on digital projects, or keeping their data under lock and key.
“By committing to a strong agenda of collaboration and cooperation, we can learn from each other’s experiences.”
One of the first matters discussed was the possible combination of State/Territory data with Federal records on children who have spent time in out-of-home care.
“State and Territory governments hold vast amounts of data about individuals who have spent time in care, but have limited visibility about their employment outcomes after they turn 18," said Keenan.
“Data held by the Federal Government relating to job seeker payments can be overlaid with the State data to provide significant insights into the lives of these individuals.
"Those insights can then be used to shape effective policy settings that enable earlier intervention and more targeted service delivery to deliver better outcomes."
With initiatives such as digital driver licenses now underway in a number of states, the Australian Digital Council also provides governments with the opportunity to “pool resources” and “avoid costly duplication”, according to Keenan.
Similarly, the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is working on its Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) to give all Australians easy access to digital services.
The council will help state and territory governments to also adopt these measures.
It comes as the Federal Government continues to draft a new Data Sharing and Release Act, which will streamline the process of sharing public sector data.
It is expected the Federal Government will allow States and Territories to opt-in to the system, or use it as a template for their own legislation.