SES Accountabilities for Data

Front cover of the Building Strong SES Accountabilities for Data document

Publication author: Department of Finance

Publication abstract:

The SES Accountabilities for Data will support agencies to understand their responsibilities for data and position the Chief Data Officer role within their organisation to optimise management of data. When data is managed as an asset, its value will be maximised through greater use and reuse, both within and between government agencies and through data sharing and release. 

Government data custodians have historically had fewer formal obligations and accountabilities than custodians of other government assets, except where agency-specific legislation applies. The SES Accountabilities for Data takes a principles-based approach to applying strong and consistent accountabilities for all SES roles across the APS, not just data-specific roles.

APS agencies should use the six principles outlined below as a guide when establishing or reviewing their data governance arrangements. The principles are that all:

  1. agencies have a data strategy outlining how the agency will use data to meet its business objectives and priorities
  2. agencies have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) (generally SES level) who is accountable for data across the agency, or assign accountability for data to a senior official with sufficient influence and support to drive the agency’s data agenda
  3. agencies have a Data Champion (generally the CDO)
  4. agencies with significant data holdings have Senior Data Stewards (or equivalent roles) with accountability for data managed within specific data domains or business areas
  5. SES officers have data accountabilities
  6. agencies clearly define roles and responsibilities for data, using example role descriptions in this document as a guide

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