Data Integration - ABS Integrating Authority information


The ABS only undertakes data integration for statistical and research purposes and where there is a strong public benefit in doing so.

In April 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) became an accredited Integrating Authority under the Commonwealth data integration interim arrangements. A copy of the accreditation claims made by ABS, which have been verified by an independent auditor, is available through the National Statistical Service (NSS) website.

In its role as an accredited Integrating Authority, the ABS operational procedures protecting your information are:

  • All ABS staff sign undertakings of secrecy and fidelity which are legally binding agreements.
  • To protect the identities of individuals and organisations, the ABS separates identifying variables from content variables and information is stored on separate servers.
  • ABS staff can see only the information required for specific linking or analysis. No-one can see identifying information in conjunction with content data.

The ABS has internal governance procedures to thoroughly vet applications for data integration projects. A data integration project may be proposed when an information gap is identified and it is demonstrated that existing data can be reused without the need to ask the public additional survey questions.


Partnership arranged with data custodians
  • An agreement for use of the data is reached between the ABS and the data custodian.
  • Use of the data must be in line with legislated purposes and assessed as being in the public interest.
  • The ABS and data custodians jointly assess the public benefit and risk of each project against the Commonwealth Statistical Data Integration Risk Assessment Guidelines and the Privacy Act 1988. This risk assessment forms a formal data integration project proposal.

ABS internal governance process
  • Data integration project proposals, including the risk assessment, are submitted through a dedicated governance process for review and approval.
  • When reviewing these proposals, primary consideration is given to the public benefit and to the strategies for safely managing personal and sensitive information involved in the project.
  • All projects involving personal or sensitive information require a Privacy Impact Assessment.

For more information on Integrating Authority accreditation, visit the NSS website.