Tasmanian agencies are encouraged to share information within, between and beyond the government in ways that benefit the community.
Everyone who works in the public sector needs the confidence of knowing when and how to securely share digital information.
Security and privacy are key in today’s digital world where data is “information” and information is our newest Government asset.
The Administrative Data Exchange Protocol for Tasmania (ADEPT) is a set of guidelines that enable you to promote and manage cross-Agency information exchange in ways that are open, transparent and secure.
Use this site to develop an understanding of what is possible today and be part of the move towards transparent open government.
ALL TASMANIAN GOVERNMENT agencies collect, manage and use data for core business functions and the delivery of specific services to the community. Collectively, this data represents a highly valuable resource which is essential to the development of strategic, evidence-based policy and informed decisions that will ultimately deliver better outcomes for all Tasmanians.
To deliver greater public value and enable more effective responses to complex policy challenges, all Tasmanian Government agencies have agreed to work together to facilitate the safe and transparent exchange of data across portfolio boundaries. This approach not only provides government with an integrated view of issues and opportunities, it streamlines the development of more targeted and successful solutions, and is consistent with the ethos of ‘connected’ government.
This Administrative Data Exchange Protocol for Tasmania (ADEPT) encourages an organisational culture in which information collected and held by government is valued and managed as an asset. It identifies the principles that support the administrative processes which enable the secure and transparent exchange of data within and between agencies, and establishes a governance framework that safeguards the lawful and appropriate exchange of data without compromising the privacy of individuals or organisations.
THE ADEPT VISION is that the Tasmanian Government values and manages data as a strategic asset and shares information within, between and beyond government for the benefit of the Tasmanian community.
A shared commitment to ADEPT provides a trusted foundation for more sophisticated data exchange and integration practices and enhanced statistical capability across the Tasmanian Government, in accordance with the following principles:
- there are clear roles and responsibilities for all parties involved in the exchange of data.
- data is responsibly and transparently exchanged within and between agencies to inform policy development and the continuous improvement of services.
- data from different sources is able to be exchanged and used appropriately.
- provisos of data privacy, confidentiality, security and intellectual property are respected and protected.
What is Data?
In the context of this document, data means those facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis, by or on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.
Data is typically comprised of numbers, words or images in formats as diverse as hardcopy, digital, audio, video, graphical, cartographic, geospatial, numerical or textual form. Data is primarily computer-based information. Examples of State Government data include the location of Service Tasmania outlets, school enrolment and retention rates, the location of bus stops, ambulance emergency response times, Parole Board outcomes or air quality monitoring.
Data may be used to:
- plan, manage, deliver and evaluate services and programs for the individual and collective benefit of members of the Tasmanian community
- assist public servants to fulfil their roles and statutory obligations
- provide members of the community with information they need to understand their rights, entitlements and obligations
- support national activities and initiatives designed to enhance the lives of all Australians.
About this Document
THIS ADMINISTRATIVE PROTOCOL has been developed in response to the need for a shared understanding of privacy responsibilities accompanied by practical guidelines for the collaborative exchange and integration of data within and across Tasmanian Government agencies.
Almost every time an individual comes into contact with a government service, data is created. Most data collected by the Tasmanian Government is suitable for sharing within and between agencies, with minimal restrictions or the imposition of conditions of use. Exceptions may apply where there are legislative or regulatory factors such as personal privacy, security and intellectual property, or where public interest concerns outweigh any identified benefits.
Tasmanian Government agencies play a critical role as custodial managers of the data they collect, maintain and exchange on behalf of the authoritative custodian, being the Crown in right of the State of Tasmania.
Data exchange avoids unnecessary duplication by enabling the re-use of existing government data. This reduces burden on the community and conserves resources spent collecting data that may already exist. Data exchange enables government to improve decision making based on increased data access, and create accountable evidence-based policy. Sharing data allows government to do more with less. The resources saved by the better collection, management, use and re-use of data can be spent on planning and delivering innovative targeted services. In the long term, the efficiency and effectiveness of government will be greatly improved; increased access to data will also greatly help government in addressing, planning and responding to ‘wicked’ policy problems.
In theory, obtaining data from another agency should be as simple as asking for it. In practice, the process is a little more complicated. By securely managing and connecting data without breaching privacy or other legislative constraints, it can be analysed and used to inform the development of policies and strategic decisions that deliver better services to individuals and the broader community.
There are many instances where the exchange and integration of data is not only permissible but a necessary step towards safeguarding and protecting the health, safety and welfare of Tasmanians.
The purpose of ADEPT is to provide overarching practical guidance that balances the need for privacy with other equally important public interests, for example, the streamlined delivery of health and human services, and more effective planning and response to emergency incidents.
ADEPT aims to ensure proper safeguards are in place to enable and encourage the responsible and transparent exchange of data between agencies in the public interest. It aims to help Tasmanian Government agencies work towards a collective appreciation of data as a shared strategic asset that can be used and reused under safe and trusted conditions to deliver better outcomes across all Tasmanian Government portfolios.
There is increased understanding that within government, data is not owned by the individual custodians, divisions or departments, so restricting the exchange of data purely on the basis of custodianship is not appropriate. ADEPT is intended to be read in conjunction with the obligations under the Personal Information Protection Act 2004, which enables the sharing of information between agencies.
It is acknowledged that there are additional obligations and restrictions around the management and use of data from specific datasets which are set out in other legislation relevant to particular agencies. In these situations, the Personal Information Protection Act 2004, is subordinate to those specific legislation where its provisions are inconsistent.
THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT constitute legal advice about how agencies should comply with legislation in specific circumstances or for the exchange of data held by Tasmanian Government agencies with other tiers of government, that is the Australian Government or Local Government Authorities, or with academic or private sector organisations.
Agencies should continue to seek independent legal advice where appropriate.
Definition of Terms
Data exchange is the process of sending and receiving data between two or more partners. The transfer of data may be one-way or two-way, or involve multiple partners.
Data exchange is also known as data sharing.
For example: In order for Tasmania’s State Revenue Office to properly identify and assess taxation liabilities, information is exchanged with other State Revenue Offices and the Australian Taxation Office under various Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation.
Data linkage is the process of working with data that has been exchanged between two or more partners. The process may be as simple as comparing two datasets side by side to identify gaps or commonalities. More sophisticated data linkage enables the provision of de-identifid data files for research, planning and evaluation of services, and policy development.
For example: By linking disparate datasets, the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit stores ‘linkage keys’ that enable records from health, education, transport and other data sources to be combined - for approved projects - by researcher, policy makers and planners.
Data linkage may also occur as part of a data integration process.
Data integration is the process of combining two or more datasets to produce new datasets. Data integration generally involves the use of data that has been de-identified or anonymised. Data integration is undertaken by Accredited Integrating Authorities, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).
For example: Data has been integrated from:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing,
- Tasmanian Early Development Census (AEDC),
- National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection,
- Tasmanian government school enrolments, and
- National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
This has allowed for the creation of datasets that provide insights into factors influencing early childhood development, the socioeconomic context of student achievement in Tasmania, and the destinations and outcomes for both Tasmanian early school leavers and Year 12 graduates.
De-identified data is data that has had directly identifying information about an individual or organisation removed, masked or altered by using a variety of statistical techniques. Anonymised data is data from which an individual’s identity cannot be derived using direct or indirect means.
For example: Removing a name and address may not be sufficient to prevent identification when combined with other data contained in a record. The precision of the remaining data may be reduced by replacing specific information with ranges. A date of birth or age (48) could be replaced with group (40-50 years) and a specific salary with a range. Instead of releasing data by postcode, incorporating it into a larger group (municipal or state) further lessens the potential for identification.