The allocation of $8 million over four years from the McGowan Government’s Digital Capability Fund will deliver important data linkage reforms and renewed capabilities across the public sector.
The funding allocation will provide ten additional roles to the Office of Digital Government to support building, operating, governing and usage of a central data asset. It will also provide essential new technical equipment and services to ensure data security.
The new reforms and renewed capabilities provide the necessary infrastructure to tackle the State’s most complex social, health, environmental and economic issues in a safe and secure way.
The funding will enable the State Government to streamline government services, and ensure policy and operational decisions are informed by relevant data.
Improved data linkage capabilities will also support health and medical researchers in conducting ethically-approved research and evaluation that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians.
To support these reforms, the Office of Digital Government, together with the Department of Health, will facilitate the secure linkage of data in a safe, privacy-preserving environment.
The reforms respond to recommendations made by WA’s Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken AC, who led a data linkage review with the research, not-for-profit and public sectors.
The initiative also supports the delivery of the Digital Strategy for the WA Government 2021-2025 and recommendations from the Sustainable Health Review 2019, by building the State Government’s data and analytics capabilities to support work on critical cross-portfolio issues.
As stated by Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring data we have at our disposal is used to deliver the best possible outcomes for services, policy and strategy for Western Australians.
“Improved linkage capabilities will enable decisions to be better informed by data and will aid researchers in their efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians.
“The Office of Digital Government is delivering on the Digital Strategy and building analytics capabilities to address our State’s most pressing complex social, health, environmental and economic issues.”
As stated by Chief Scientist of WA Professor Peter Klinken AC:
“The new data linkage reforms will allow for better interrogation of information across multiple datasets, while implementing industry-leading cyber security measures.
“The State Government collects data in the course of daily operations, and it’s important that we not only protect that information, but utilise it in an effective manner.
“Through these reforms, the State Government will be enabled to make more informed policy and strategy decisions that will benefit the whole community.”