Requesting an agency's data
This page helps you understand how to request data from a NSW Government agency.The Data Sharing (Government Sector) Act encourages and enables data sharing across the NSW public sector.
Public sector staff who would like to access data from another agency should follow these four steps:
1. Know your purpose
Explain clearly why you need the data.The Data Sharing Act sets out the permitted purposes for agencies to share data. It says agencies can share data in order to:
- Support the making of good policy
- Improve or support program management
- Enable effective service planning and delivery.
Make sure your request aligns to these permitted purposes.
2. Is the data already available?
If you still can’t find the data you’re looking for, keep reading.
3. Outline the specific types of data you need
To help data custodians know what specific types of data you need, make a list or construct a spreadsheet. Provide a summary of the types of data fields you might need.
For example, to help with your service planning, do you need information about date or frequency of service delivery, service types or the locations where services are provided? Be specific, as this helps data custodians to understand and process your request.
Check that your requested data meets the requirements under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, and doesn’t fall into the excluded categories of Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the GIPA Act. In most cases the Data Sharing Act does not allow health, sensitive, or personally identifiable information to be shared.
If you think you may need personally identifying information, you should talk to the data custodian about whether safeguards such as redaction or aggregation can be applied so that data can be shared with you that doesn’t contain personal information, but still meets your purpose.
4. Request data
When you are ready to make your data sharing request:
- Directly contact the agency who holds the data you need via their website
- If they have a specific data sharing request form, use this to make your request
- If they don’t have a specific form, use our request template
You can also contact other agencies using the Data.NSW Discussion Forum.
You can also use the Data Sharing Agreement Generator to generate a data request to another agency.
Each agency’s GIPA Act team can also provide advice on who to contact for data sharing requests.
Once your request is received, the agency will:
- Review your application and discuss any concerns with you
- If approved, agree on the terms and conditions for the sharing of data.
Last updated: 19 June 2019