MADIP data and legislation

Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) data is used to support government decision making and academic research. It provides evidence to undertake research and evaluation activities, improve the efficiency and targeting of government services, and make policy decisions. Authorised researchers also use this information to undertake research and provide policy advice.

MADIP information is protected by the Census and Statistics Act 1905, which ensures that no information is released in a way that is likely to enable an individual to be identified. There are two broad types of information shared for MADIP: 

  • Linkage information, which usually includes personal identifiers such as name and address, is only used to link the datasets together; it is not used for analytical purposes. For more information about the use of name and address information, please see Keeping integrated data safe.
  • Analytical information may be also used to link datasets, but is primarily used for analysis by authorised researchers. Such information includes age, sex, country of birth, languages spoken, housing tenure, educational qualifications, employment information, income and financial information, and use of healthcare and government support services.

For more detail on what data is available for analysis by authorised researchers, see the MADIP Modular Product.

Legislative Authority

MADIP is a secure data asset combining information that was originally collected by a range of entities. The ABS is the accredited integrating authority for MADIP, collecting and combining datasets and providing access to authorised researchers.

Government agencies need permission and powers (legislative authority) to engage in data sharing activities. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is authorised to collect, compile, analyse, and publish statistics under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and the Census and Statistics Act 1905. In particular, the ABS is authorised by these laws to undertake surveys and the Census; to collect information from other government entities; to link Census data and other information; to produce statistics for analysis; and to publish statistical outputs. The ABS also complies with the Privacy Act 1988 and handles personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. Data collected by the ABS, including information used in MADIP, is protected by the secrecy provisions of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. 

 Each entity shares data with the ABS for MADIP lawfully. Legislative authority for sharing may come from the entity’s establishing legislation; legislation relating to the original collection of the data; specific data sharing legislation; or other legislation.

Further detailed information on data sharing for MADIP is available in the 2022 MADIP Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) update. You can find out more from the MADIP PIA overview web page or the PIA reports published to the ABS Privacy Impact Assessments web page.

Table 1 summarises the various legislative authorities for government agencies to share information with the ABS that forms an enduring linkage to MADIP. Datasets with an enduring linkage to MADIP include information on income and taxation, education and training, health, migration, government payments, disability and deaths. More information about enduring linkages to MADIP can be found on the MADIP data asset web page

Table 1: Legal basis for sharing data
Government AgencyLegislative Authority
Australian Taxation OfficeTaxation Administration Act 1953
Tax Law Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Act 2010
Department of Education
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
Census and Statistics Act 1905
Australian Education Act 2013
Australian Education Regulation 2013
Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
Higher Education Support Act 2003
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
Student Identifiers Act 2014
VET Student Loans Act 2016
Respective State and Territory Legislation
Department of Health and Aged CareAustralian Immunisation Register Act 2015
Health Insurance Act 1973
National Health Act 1953
Department of Home AffairsCensus and Statistics Act 1905
Migration Act 1958
Australian Border Force Act 2015
Department of Social ServicesA New Tax System (Family Assistance) Administration Act 1999
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
Student Assistance Act 1973
Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
Services AustraliaHealth Insurance Act 1973
National Health Act 1953
National Disability Insurance AgencyNational Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
NDIS (Protection and Disclosure of Information) Rules 2013
State & Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and MarriageRespective Births, Deaths and Marriages Acts

Data in MADIP

MADIP evolves to include new and updated sources of data to meet policy and research priorities. Only data that are reasonably necessary for an approved purpose are shared and used. MADIP can also be integrated with selected Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) datasets for approved projects. 

The Data Integration Project Register includes a description of the datasets that have an enduring (long-term) link to MADIP, which allows them to be regularly updated for ongoing research.

Once-off linkages to MADIP

Other datasets have been integrated with MADIP for “once-off” purposes. Once-off data linkages are integrated with MADIP for a specific project or projects and accessed by approved researchers. Once-off data is retained for as long as required for approved projects and typically removed after project completion. In some circumstances, the MADIP Board may review and approve once-off linkages to become an enduring linkage. Data custodians may also approve access to once-off linkages for further projects. 

Tables 2 and 3 describe the datasets that has been linked to MADIP on a once-off basis by jurisdiction.

Table 2: Once-off linkages to MADIP by Commonwealth Government
Data CustodianDataset and Reference PeriodDescriptionLegislative Authority
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)ABS Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) (2015-16)

ABS Survey of Income and Housing (2019-20, 2020-21)
Information on sources of income, amounts received, household net worth, financial stress, housing, household characteristics & personal characteristics. This information is collected from private households over two phases using the ABS Survey of income and Housing and the ABS Household Expenditure Survey.

Information on sources of income, amounts received, household net worth, housing, household characteristics and personal characteristics collected from a sample of private households.
Census and Statistics Act 1905
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)National Quality Standard (NQS) (2013-2017)The NQS is a measure for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services in Australia. Services are assessed and rated by ACECQA, and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results.Education and Care Services National Law
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)National Disability Data Asset (NDDA) Pilot dataset extract (2010-2020)The NDDA is a joint integrated data project aiming to bring together Commonwealth and state and territory data to provide new insights for the future development of policy for people with disability.Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987
Census and Statistics Act 1905
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

Early Release of Superannuation (ERS) (Apr 2020 to Dec 2020)

Job Maker Hiring Credit Dataset (JMHC) (1 Feb 2021 to 31 January 2023)

Superannuation Balances data – Member Account Transaction Service (MATS) and Member Account Attributes Service (MAAS) (2018-19, 2019-20)

Taxable Payment Annual Report (TPAR) from Residential Aged Care Facilities, Payee Data (2020-21)

Information about early access to retirement savings by eligible individuals.

Employer and employee information provided by businesses claiming a JMHC. The JMHC scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years.

Information about superannuation contributions, transactions, and events, such as account closure and account phase. This information is reported to the ATO by regulated funds using the ATO’s MATS and MAAS services.

Total payments made to contractors by residential aged care facilities, including subcontractors, consultants and independent contractors operating as companies, partnerships, trusts or sole traders.

Taxation Administration Act 1953
Tax Law Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Act 2010
Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ AffairsVeterans Population Spine and Analytical Dataset (2001–2018)Demographic, health, and service record information for members of the Australian Defence Forces, integrated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and provided to the ABS in a de-identified form.Australian Institute Health and Welfare Act 1987
Department of Education
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations

Child Care Management System (2010 to 2018)

Employment Services System (ESS) and Post-Program Monitoring Surveys (PPM) (2015-16 to 2018-19)

NSW Family Day Care data (2013, 2015)

NSW Long Day Care submission for National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (2013, 2015)

Student Residential Address and Other Information (Student) collection (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)

Information on enrolment & attendance of children aged 4-6 [inclusive] & their associated carers, including basic demographics. This is reported to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and used to calculate the fee reductions to be paid to the service.

Demographic and employment outcomes information collected from Job Seekers during the delivery of employment services.

Information on children participating in early childhood education in NSW.

Information on children participating in early childhood education in NSW.

Information about student residential address (excluding names), level of schooling, boarding status and names and addressed of students' parents and/or guardians, from eligible schools. The Student collection is undertaken each year by non-government Approved Authorities and their schools.

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

Census and Statistics Act 1905

Australian Education Act 2013
Australian Education Regulation 2013

Department of Health and Aged CareAged Care Provider dataInformation on Aged Care Homes, including permanent and respite residential care and Multi-Purpose Service residential care, sourced from the public dataset at GEN Aged Care Data.Not applicable
Department of Social ServicesTransgenerational Data Set (TDS) extract (1993–2014)The TDS Extract links social assistance records of a birth cohort of children to their parents, including payment history, demographic information, and accommodation and study history.A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Administration Act 1999
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
Student Assistance Act 1973
Paid Parental Leave Act 2010

 

Table 3: Once-off linkages to MADIP by State and Territory Governments
Data CustodianDataset and Reference PeriodDescriptionLegislative Authority
State and Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths, and MarriagesBirth Registrations (2006–2018)Information collected by State and Territory Registrars to enable the registration of a birth.Respective Births, Deaths and Marriages Acts
New South Wales
Cancer Institute of New South WalesNSW Linked Cancer dataset: BreastScreen NSW (1988–2016)Information on people presenting for breast cancer screening in NSW, including assessment and treatment information and family histories of cancer.Health Administration Regulation 2015 (NSW)
 NSW Linked Cancer dataset: Cancer Incidence and Mortality (1972–2016)Demographic, cancer diagnosis, and mortality information for people with cancer in NSW. 
 NSW Linked Cancer dataset: NSW Pap Test Registry (1996–2017)Information on women who have a pap test in NSW, including the results of cervical cytology, histology tests or HPV DNA tests. 
NSW Department of Communities and JusticeNSW Human Services Dataset (HSDS) (1990 – 2020)The HSDS brings together NSW and Commonwealth records about children, young people and families, from across government services. The service streams, outcomes and life events captured in the HSDS included child protection, justice, housing, health and mental health, education, parental risk indicators and alcohol and other drug use.Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2012 (NSW) Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
NSW Department of EducationBest Start Kindergarten (2015, 2018, 2019)Information on children participating in early childhood education in NSW.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
 New South Wales National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data, Year 3 (2018)Outcomes from the NAPLAN tests for New South Wales students who were in Year 3 in 2018.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
 NSW Community and Government Preschool Data (2013, 2014, 2016-2018)Information on children participating in early childhood education in NSW.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
 NSW public school enrolment and student characteristics (1996-2016)Student characteristics including enrolments and attendance, course data and field of education.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
 NSW public school workforce profile (teachers) (1996-2016)Information on school and teacher characteristics.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
NSW Department of IndustrySmart, Skilled and Hired data (1996-2016)Characteristics and outcomes of young people engaged in the Smart, Skilled and Hired youth employment program.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
NSW Education Standards AuthorityNew South Wales NAPLAN, Record of School Achievement, Higher School Certificate (1996-2016)Student and family characteristics, test results and other education outcomes.Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
Queensland   
QLD Department of EducationQueensland NAPLAN data (2010 to 2018)Outcomes from the NAPLAN tests for Queensland state school students who were in Year 3 during 2010, 2011 and 2012.Education General Provisions Act 2006 (QLD)
South Australia   
SA Department for EducationNDDA South Australian Linkage: South Australian NAPLAN (2008 – 2019)Information on education for South Australians, including school attendance and attainment outcomes.Census and Statistics Act 1905 Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 (SA)
 NDDA South Australian Linkage: South Australian School Enrolment Census (2005–2019)Information on education for South Australians, including school attendance and attainment outcomes.Census and Statistics Act 1905 Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 (SA)
SACE Board of South AustraliaNDDA South Australian Linkage: South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) (2014–2019)Information on education for South Australians, including school attendance and attainment outcomes.Census and Statistics Act 1905 SACE Board of South Australia Act 1983 (SA)
Victoria   
VIC Department of Health and Human ServicesVictorian Linkage Map (1991-Dec 2018)
- Alcohol and Drug Information System
- Birth Registry
- Child Protection and Out of Home Care
- ChildFIRST
- Death Index
- Dental Health Program Dataset
- Disability Services
- Family Services
- Family Violence Services
- Homelessness Services
- Mental Health Community Support Services
- National Disability Insurance Scheme Dataset
- Public Housing Applications
- Public Housing Tenancies
- Public Mental Health Services
- Sexual Assault Services
- Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset
- Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset
- Youth Justice Data
The Victorian Linkage Map (VLM) is a system of linked records that are identified as belonging to the same person across 30 different Victorian health and human services datasets.

A selection of VLM datasets have been linked to MADIP, enabling de-identified service histories to be used for research.
Health Records Act 2001 (VIC) Privacy & Data Protection Act 2014 (VIC)

Proposed linkages of new types of data to MADIP

The MADIP Board and ABS periodically consider linking new types of data to MADIP where there is a strong public benefit. The ABS is committed to transparency and openness about data included in MADIP. This section provides information about potential new types of data under consideration for linkage with MADIP.

The ABS regularly conducts Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) for MADIP to help identify and manage privacy impacts. MADIP PIAs reflect the evolution of MADIP data and uses and are consistent with privacy best practice in Australia. The 2022 MADIP PIA Update included consultation about the potential to include new types of data in MADIP in the future. Recommendations from the 2022 MADIP PIA Update included additional work to enhance transparency and seek views from stakeholders when new types of data are considered for linkage with MADIP.

The ABS welcomes feedback on new types of data being considered for inclusion in MADIP. For enquiries, please email data.integration.privacy@abs.gov.au.

Current proposals

The MADIP Board is currently reviewing a proposal to link intensive care data collected by a private organisation to MADIP. The data includes information about patients admitted to intensive care units across Australia. There is a strong public benefit to link this data with MADIP to enable research into the health outcomes of COVID-19. More information about the data is provided in Table 4 below.

If this project proceeds, it will be the first private sector data linked to MADIP. The ABS is conducting consultation in October 2022 with targeted stakeholders to consider privacy issues with linking this new private sector data. The outcome of this consultation will be published.

The decision to include or not include intensive care data in MADIP will be informed by consideration of public benefit; utility; types of information within the dataset and restrictions on use; and the impact of including the dataset on the size and nature of the overall MADIP asset. The decision on linking intensive care data to MADIP and reasons for that decision will be provided on this web page in November 2022.

Table 4: New types of data considered for once-off linkage to MADIP
New type of dataData custodianDataset and Reference PeriodDescriptionLegislative AuthorityProject proposing to use this data
Private sector health dataAustralian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS)Adult Patient Database (APD) (2017–2022)Information on patients admitted to intensive care units across Australia including demographics and health characteristics: diagnoses, chronic health conditions, frailty measures, illness severity measures, types of care and treatments given.

Privacy Act 1988

The ANZICS APD will form part of the project Understanding socio-demographic cohorts in the COVID-19 vaccines strategy, led by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

 

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