Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019

17 December 2020

The Act provides a generalised legal basis for data sharing between public bodies for specific, legitimate purposes, including:

  • making public services more seamless by reducing the burden of providing the same information to different public bodies;
  • facilitating the effective administration, supervision and control of public services;
  • establishing entitlements to public services
  • identifying and correcting erroneous information; and

The Act also requires that sharing be carried out under a formal written data-sharing agreement that sets out in detail what data will be shared with whom, and for what purpose. Data-sharing agreements will be published in advance of any sharing taking place, and the public will be able to comment on the proposals

In addition, the Act includes a provision to ensure better data governance across the public service through:

the establishment of a Data Governance Board to advise the Minister on data management policy in the public service;

The Act also seeks to significantly enhance transparency by providing a legal basis for the creation of a personal data access portal that will provide a single point of access for people to see what data is held about them by public bodies, how that data is used and who is using it.

The Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 is available.