23 February 2024

23 FEBRUARY 2024

Data and Digital Ministers convened in Sydney today. The following Ministers attended:

  • The Hon Bill Shorten MP (Commonwealth)
  • The Hon Jihad Dib MP (New South Wales)
  • The Hon Gabrielle Williams MP (Victoria)
  • The Hon Bart Mellish MP (Queensland)
  • The Hon Stephen Dawson MLC (Western Australia)
  • The Hon Andrea Michaels MP (South Australia)
  • Mr Chris Steel MLA (Australian Capital Territory)
  • The Hon Judith Collins KC MP (New Zealand)

The Hon Clare O’Neil MP and the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP also attended the meeting.

Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher (Commonwealth) and the Hon Selena Uibo MLA (Northern Territory) were apologies for the meeting. Ministers noted the Tasmanian Government is in a caretaker period.

Priorities for 2024

Ministers agreed their priorities for 2024 including:

  • continuing to drive intergovernmental collaboration on Digital ID
  • leading reforms to intergovernmental data sharing in accordance with National Cabinet’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Data Sharing
  • reforming digital service delivery to make it easier for people to find and do what they need to across all levels of government

Ministers also discussed New Zealand’s data and digital priorities and opportunities for collaboration.

Modernising Australia’s ID System

Digital ID

Ministers reiterated their commitment to an interoperable national approach to Digital ID and integrated verifiable credentials. Ministers welcomed introduction of Digital ID legislation to the Commonwealth Parliament in November 2023. Ministers agreed to work together toward a National Digital Identity and Verifiable Credentials Strategy to inform an update of the National Digital ID Service Transformation Roadmap. 

Identity Resilience

Following the launch of the National Strategy for Identity Resilience, Ministers agreed to collaborate on implementation of immediate initiatives to strengthen identity security and protect Australians from identity crime. These initiatives include updating the National Identity Proofing Guidelines and improving identity resilience education and awareness.

Identity Resilience Education and Awareness resources are available on the ID Match website: https://www.idmatch.gov.au/protect-your-identity

Digital Inclusion

The goal of Target 17 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have equal levels of digital inclusion by 2026. To this end, Ministers agreed to collaborate on initiatives to improve digital inclusion outcomes based on the findings and recommendations in the initial report of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group.

Artificial Intelligence

Government use of artificial intelligence presents many potential benefits and risks that need to be managed. Ensuring governments use artificial intelligence ethically and transparently, and are responsive to new developments, is crucial to building and upholding public trust. Ministers agreed an initial national framework for the assurance of artificial intelligence used by governments. This initial framework aligns with the Australian AI Ethics Principles and includes common assurance processes.

National Data Sharing Work Program 

Under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Data Sharing (IGA), Data and Digital Ministers are responsible for agreeing and overseeing a National Data Sharing Work Program to improve data sharing between governments. Ministers agreed the third Work Program will include projects to:

  • improve data sharing and provide better services to victims of family and domestic violence
  • develop a national data catalogue
  • align broader intergovernmental data sharing with the National Disability Data Asset and the Australian National Data Integration Infrastructure.

This communique is agreed by the Australian governments represented at the meeting.

Information on the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting, including previous meeting communiqués, can be found at www.finance.gov.au/government/public-data/data-and-digital-ministers-meeting

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