Objective 5 — Services will be smart and adapt to the data you choose to share
We will do more to improve your experience when dealing with government. Data is important in achieving this goal. We already collect data as part of our work delivering services to you. We use this information in aggregate to help us develop policies and services. However, if services are to become truly ‘smart’, tailored and personalised, we need to know about your individual needs and incorporate that information in delivering services to you. We will always do this by protecting your privacy and in the most secure way possible.
Australians are sharing data with government that allows us to improve our services for you, like the 536,000+ employers using Single Touch Payroll at November 2019.
Customised messages for individuals based on data that was pre-filled in myTax helped over 230,000 people prepare their tax returns correctly in 2018.
In July 2019 there were more than 200,000 transactions updating personal details on myGov’s “Change Your Details” section, including over 100,000 address updates at ATO and Services Australia. It is the first step towards a service that allows you to tell us once that your circumstances have changed and having all your relevant government records updated.
Our proposed Data Reforms will make it easier for you to use government services, such as by enabling us to pre-fill an application form for you.
It will enable sharing of data held by government for the purpose of improving service delivery, such as welfare payments, employment assistance, healthcare rebates, taxation refunds, superannuation advice and disability support. This will only take place with suitable safeguards and in a carefully controlled environment.
In September 2019, we released a discussion paper proposing data sharing reforms to empower government to share data safely. We want to reduce the number of questions on government forms and find better ways to deliver services. We received more than 70 submissions from across government, industry and universities.
We are taking this feedback on board and, to send a strong signal about our commitment to do so, we will progress the data reform legislation previously known as the Data Sharing and Release legislation as the data availability and transparency legislation. When the legislation passes Parliament, it will be known as the Data Availability and Transparency Act (DATA).
Once the Data Reforms have commenced, government agencies can share your data with each other so you only have to tell us once about your circumstances, and we can update all relevant government records. For example, at present, if you apply for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Disability Support Pension you must provide the same medical certificate twice—once to the National Disability Insurance Agency and separately to Centrelink. Legislated restrictions mean government agencies cannot offer the choice for individuals to provide the certificate once, despite that being easier for you. With the new legislation, you’d only have to supply your medical certificate once, making it easier and faster to access the services you need.
Office of the National Data Commissioner
The new Consumer Data Right
We introduced the Consumer Data Right (CDR) to give you access and better control over your data. It provides a framework to improve your ability to compare and switch between products and services – like credit cards or electricity providers. You can share data with institutions you trust, for the purposes you authorise. For example, under the CDR if you want to switch services providers you can tell your current provider to securely transfer your usage data to a comparison website. This comparison website can then tell you the best deal for you, given your actual usage information. The CDR will encourage competition between service providers, leading to better prices for customers and more innovative products and services.
The first version of the service is being designed and tested and will apply to the four major banks from early 2020. The energy and telecommunications sectors will follow, with further sectors being gradually considered and included.
Department of the Treasury, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
National Disability Insurance Scheme
It’s estimated that 6,500 young Australians with disability live in nursing homes. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is helping these young people to move to more appropriate places to live through individual plans. This improves their independence and their engagement with the community.
We’re using data to help us to provide the best care for those who need it. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) links its data with Department of Health data to identify younger people in aged care with their consent. Specialised service delivery teams work with them to move them to more appropriate places to live. These teams have supported over 4,721 young to improve their living situation.
National Disability Insurance Agency
National Drought Map
Drought seriously affects the lives of many people all over Australia. Our National Drought Map uses data to help us make better decisions to support those affected by drought. It is a digital, interactive map of Australia, with data from a range of government sources. The map helps us understand rainfall patterns, soil moisture, agricultural types, ground cover, employment levels and available support services to better target our drought support to the areas with the highest needs
CSIRO and Data61
Implementation of Single Touch Payroll
Single Touch Payroll (STP) helps workers to be more certain their employer is paying their super and to track down billions of dollars of unpaid super. It lets employers report tax and superannuation data as part of their payroll processing every pay day, saving them time and effort. We’re using this data to build better services to help Australians understand and meet their tax and super obligations. Over 536,000 employers were using STP in November 2019.
Australian Taxation Office