The Australian Government is committed to modernising how we use public sector data. Improving how we share and use this data, with safety, integrity and appropriate consumer protection measures, will benefit Australians through more effective government policies, programs, and service delivery, and through improved research outcomes.
The Exposure Draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020 (the Bill) is a step towards modernising the use of data held by the Australian Government. The data reforms presented in the draft Bill are an opportunity to establish a new framework that can proactively assist in designing better services and policies. The reforms encourage our academics and the research community to innovate and find new insights from public sector data without having to go through stifling and vague bureaucratic processes when working with data custodians.
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers and those with an interest in health consumer affairs, including health-based research. We have over 250 members reflecting a broad spectrum of organisations including state-based consumer peaks, condition-specific groups, volunteer patient groups, professional associations, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the research community.
We work in collaboration with our members, national partners and research collaborators to influence policy, programs and services to ensure they are in the consumer and community interest. In developing our submission we provided our members the opportunity to input into our responses and consulted with our ‘Research and Data Special Interest Group’, a group of nearly two-dozen everyday consumers with an interest in health research and data.
CHF is pleased to make this submission in response to the Office of the National Data Commissioner (NDC) Data Availability and Transparency Bill (DATB) exposure draft consultation.