Terms of Reference - Australian Digital Council

Public DataAustralian Data and Digital Council
Thursday, 22 August 2019
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

The purpose of the Ministerial Council is to establish proposals for better cross-government collaboration on data and digital transformation to drive smarter service delivery and improved policy outcomes.


The Commonwealth Minister for Government Services



The Ministerial Council (Council) consists of one ministerial representative from each jurisdiction with responsibility for data and/or digital matters.

In addition to members, the Council’s Senior Officials Group will attend meetings.

The Chair may invite representatives from other agencies to participate in specific meetings, as appropriate.



Meetings will be held up to four times a year.

The Council will make decisions on the basis of consensus, wherever possible.

The Council will consult with the relevant COAG Council(s) or Ministerial Forum(s) on policy issues prior to any agreement to projects within its work program.

Scope of Council responsibility


The Council will focus on improving outcomes for customers by driving cross-government collaboration on data and digital transformation to drive smarter service delivery and improved policy outcomes.

The Council is responsible for overseeing the development of Australia’s digital capability. This can be achieved by identifying best practice across jurisdictions and pursuing areas for collaboration to achieve its purpose.

The Council will work to investigate and understand barriers to digital integration as well as data sharing within and across State and Territory Governments and the Commonwealth Government.

To improve the use of public sector data and develop better digital services for people and businesses, the Ministerial Council will consider and promote initiatives that aim to:

  • Understand customer’s needs
  • Ensure the security of Australia’s data
  • Reform national data sharing arrangements
  • Prioritise and agree data and digital initiatives that offer national or cross‑jurisdictional benefits
  • Ensure equitable access to the benefits of digital transformation for all Australians including consideration of addressing the digital divide
  • Ensure digital initiatives have appropriate privacy and security safeguards
  • Build trust and transparency by developing joint approaches to inform the public and build public trust in government based digital services.

Specific actions to progress Council responsibilities in the next 18 months

The Council will deliver its data and digital work program to transform services for people and businesses under four themes:

Reforming cross-jurisdictional data and digital platforms, services and protocols

  • National Disability Data Asset
  • Data sharing on birth defects
  • e-invoicing and e-planning
  • National API standards
  • Additional cross-jurisdictional data collaboration initiatives (as referred by COAG)

Enhancing government capability to build public trust and deliver digitally

  • Building trust and community support
  • Digital inclusion
  • Emerging technologies

Transforming services around life events

  • Prioritisation of life events
  • Birth of a child
  • End of life
  • Looking for work

Delivering a seamless digital identity experience for citizens

  • Digital identity solutions

Review and reporting

The Council will report to COAG as required on its progress.

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