Value the data we collect and use on behalf of our community - Data is collected, managed and used in a way that protects privacy and develops better services for the community. Data is a cornerstone to a truly digital government.

Value the data we collect and use on behalf of our community

Our vision is that the wellbeing of Canberrans is improved through planning, policy and research that delivers better services for all.


People create data touch points every day. We search the internet, catch up with friends on social media, shop online, catch public transport and, increasingly, undertake more complex and personal interactions with the health sector and social services.

Up to a century ago mining and resource companies dominated as the world’s most valuable brands. In 2019 the four largest companies by market value were technology companies – Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet (owns Google), and they trade in data. The ability to store and analyse vast quantities of data leads to our increasing ability to produce new insights and business opportunities.

Better use of data can enable government to perform its functions more efficiently and effectively - to differentiate needs, to understand the impact of its interventions, to prioritise where it spends resources and to build feedback loops to enable continuous adaptation.

ACT Government seeks to improve the wellbeing of our people so we can all reach our full potential. Public services such as schools, hospitals, transport, child protection and policing have the ability to further improve outcomes for our community and transform lives. This is particularly important for people with diverse and complex needs, and for those suffering any form of disadvantage. To do this, government services are dependent on having all the relevant information to support better planning, strong decision making and effective service provision.

ACT Government is committed to improving information and data sharing within government and with our strategic partners. Central to this is continuing to safeguard the security and privacy of the personal information we collect. As we move forward discovering new uses for our data, we need to decide how to strike the best balance between the opportunities that present themselves, and the risks.

What we will do

Our vision is that the wellbeing of Canberrans is improved through planning, policy and research that delivers better services for all. This means that we will:

  • consider privacy, security, transparency and ethics in conducting data and digital activities, underpinned by strong governance arrangements.
  • make it clear how the information we collect is protected and used, particularly for all new services and every service we make changes to, leading to increased trust in the ACT Government’s use of your information.
  • provide easier ways to manage your information and give or remove permissions. We will do this using the ACT Digital Account. As services become connected to your Digital Account, you can make choices.
  • ask your permission to reuse or share your information to deliver better services to you, for example, if you move, you can tell us your new address once and ask that we update this in all places we store that information. We will do this in a way that’s easy to understand and helps you make an informed choice.
  • provide alternative options for people who choose not to have their personal information reused.
  • use data to identify people with diverse and complex needs to ensure they receive timely and seamless services.
  • be open and transparent about data we use for research, policy and analytics purposes and how that data is protected and secured, particularly for new data analytics projects.
  • embed a consistent ‘privacy and security by design’ approach to the development of new and changing services and ensure ongoing monitoring and detection is built into ongoing operations of these services
  • collaborate with people in the community to understand and keep in touch with the range and strength of attitudes to privacy and data sharing, to help make the best-balanced choices around how your data is used.
  • publish more open data of higher quality and in formats that can also be read by machines. This could empower our community and industry partners to add value to the data in ways that are of benefit the community. We will also provide the community with easier ways to access and interpret the data.

Current initiatives

These are some initiatives that we are working on that illustrate how we are valuing and protecting the data we collect. More information on these and other initiatives can be found in the Initiatives.

Child and youth record information system

Establishing connections across key parts of government to share safety, risk and case management information will improve client management and lead to better outcomes.

Family safety

Our family safety initiatives aim to improve how families with lived experiences of domestic and family violence are supported using better data collection and automation of reporting.

Proactive waterways management

This initiative seeks to improve the health of ACT waterways by integrating data from multiple sources and sensors including rainfall, stream flow and water quality.

Specialist Intelligence Gathering (SIG) Helicopter

This initiative will seek to enhance the data analysis to better inform the ESA and other stakeholders of future threats and how best to respond.

Transport Canberra journey planner

An integrated journey planner that provides an intuitive interface to help you plan your journey using multiple transport options (bus, walk, ride, drive).

Triple zero to emergency

This initiative improves patient care and resource management by combining Ambulance and hospital Emergency Department data to give a complete picture of patient journeys from the initial Triple Zero call to arrival in the Emergency Department.

Wellbeing framework

The ACT Government is developing a wellbeing framework to monitor progress across a broad range of areas that reflect the values of Canberrans and influence our quality of life.

Looking ahead - possible future initiatives

Understanding what has happened in the past can help prepare us for the future. Data that is captured and interrogated in real-time allows us to model scenarios and implement actions or remedies before they become issues. This can help us provide better and more timely services, such as managing the transportation system and our environment. We recognise and leverage the value of data including by using open data and access to real-time data feeds.

Joined-up services


The services we provide for the most vulnerable people and families in our community will become easier to access. Those who need multiple community services and supports should be able to receive them without having to navigate the structures of government. That is, access to all services regardless of where they first present, for example in healthcare, community services, housing, education or the justice system.

Internet of Things - enabling our city


The city infrastructure we develop will continue to incorporate digital capabilities and be capable of providing information about how it is performing (for example, are street lights working) or what is happening around it (the temperature, wind speed, noise levels, air quality). This data will feed into other whole-of-city models that allow us to operate and plan for changes, improving our resilience and sustainability as a city. It could also be used in times of emergency to help determine how best to respond, such as monitoring wind direction through the street lights, traffic flow from CCTV cameras and pedestrian traffic from Bluetooth detection; all in real-time. Work is currently underway to develop a connected city using initiatives such as the smart streetlight deployment. In the future this could be used to connect new Internet of Things infrastructure to gain greater insights into improving the liveability and resilience of our entire city.

The impact of new technologies on our city


Our future will present us with different opportunities and challenges in how we use technology and data to meet the demands of a changing world. Examples include achieving energy sustainability, the use of electric vehicles, the increase of suburban power generation, drone delivery and driverless cars. We will model the effects of increasing numbers of electric vehicles requiring charging from workplaces and the flow-on impact on the electricity grid. Related to that will be the local generation of power in suburbs creating a virtual power plant that can be managed to provide power distribution where needed, based on real-time data from multiple data sources.