Review of the Victorian Public Service COVID-19 Data Sharing Framework
The Data Sharing Framework expired on 31 December 2020. The Department of Premier and Cabinet is reviewing the framework in line with Cabinet's endorsement to extend the Data Sharing Policy and Heads of Agreement beyond coronavirus (COVID-19). The revised framework will support public health, recovery and cross-portfolio data needs, and InsightsVictoria. For more information, email the Victorian Centre for Data Insights: .
Policy context and purpose
The Victorian Government recognises that access to data is critical for responding to and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
However, legal, governance and risk factors continue to slow down data sharing between departments and agencies. The Data Sharing Heads of Agreement (DSHA) supports cross-VPS COVID-19 data sharing by providing an overarching legal framework to streamline and accelerate data sharing, while ensuring the right safeguards and controls are in place. It does so by:
- reducing the time required for multiple legal negotiations and sign-offs
- providing Secretary-level/ head-of-agency authorisation signalling the importance and urgency of sharing data for COVID-19 purposes
- having a common risk framework to ensure key issues are considered and appropriate controls are in place
- operationalising the by promoting the clear responsibility to share data
The DSHA provides general terms and conditions for data-sharing signed by all Departmental Secretaries and the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner.
How to use DSHA
Staff of any VPS department and Victoria Police can use the DSHA for their specific data sharing arrangement, as long as it is for COVID-19 purposes. While the heads of agreement sets out agreed general terms and conditions for data sharing, data providers and data users still have flexibility to specify terms relevant to their circumstances in annexures to the agreement.
Use the following template annexures to formalises the terms of your specific data sharing arrangement:
If you have any specific implementation questions, read this guidance.
The Office of the Victorian Information Commission (OVIC) and Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) can also assist with issues concerning personal information and health information respectively. OVIC and HCC have issued to help VPS agencies understand their privacy obligations during COVID-19. The Commonwealth also has helpful online resources, including information about .
Reviewed 31 January 2021