Skip to main content

Data Integration

Statistical Data Integration

What is statistical data integration?

Statistical data integration involves combining information from different administrative and/or survey sources to provide new datasets for statistical and research purposes.

A safe and effective environment for statistical data integration involving Commonwealth data

In 2010, the Secretaries Board (i.e. heads of all Commonwealth government agencies and the Australian Public Service Commission) endorsed a set of principles to govern integration of Commonwealth data for statistical and research purposes, as well as a set of governance and institutional arrangements to support these principles.

An important part of the governance and institutional arrangements is being able to hold one agency accountable for the safe implementation of a data integration project. To make this happen, an integrating authority must be appointed for every data integration project involving Commonwealth data. For data integration proposals that involve Commonwealth data and are considered 'high risk', an accredited Integrating Authority must be used.

Initial implementation

Initial implementation of the Commonwealth arrangements commenced on 1 July 2014.

Projects in scope

In July 2015, the Oversight Board endorsed amendments to the Scope of the Commonwealth arrangements for data integration.

A project is now in scope if it meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Is statistical and research in nature;

    That is, integration for non-statistical purposes (such as delivery of services to particular individuals, compliance monitoring, incident investigation or regulatory purposes) is out of scope as these activities have different processes and legislative requirements governing them.


  2. Has cross portfolio status;

    That is, involves two or more data custodians, where at least one is Commonwealth.


  3. Involves users beyond the Commonwealth data custodian(s) participating in the project;

    For example, the intended use by other Commonwealth agencies, state& territory governments, academic researchers or the public.


  4. Derives a benefit from the application of the Commonwealth data integration arrangements.

    That is, utilising a structured framework to maximise the use of public data assets, safeguard privacy and maintain trust in Government around managing data appropriately for statistical and research purposes.

Note: Where a data integration project is assessed as high risk post mitigation (see Risk) the integrating authority must be accredited.

Once approved all in scope projects should be registered on the Public Register of data integration projects.