Each agency involved in the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) is authorised by law to collect personal information as part of its core functions, to share that information with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for MADIP, and to use it for policy analysis, research, and statistical purposes.
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.
Data in MADIP
Only data that are reasonably necessary for an approved purpose are shared and used. The Data Integration Project Register includes a description of the datasets that have an enduring link to MADIP, which allows them to be updated for ongoing research.
MADIP will evolve to include new and updated sources of data to meet policy and research priorities. This includes supporting Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by the expansion of social security data to include the JobSeeker payment and exploring the addition of 2020 JobKeeper and Single Touch Payroll data to inform research into labour market impacts and outcomes. MADIP can also be integrated with selected Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment datasets for approved projects.
The sources of data that were explored for inclusion in MADIP or for once-off linkage to MADIP data for specific projects in 2019 and 2020 were:
- Australian Immunisation Register
- Early Childhood Education and Care
- Child Care
- Community Development Program datasets:
- Remote Jobs and Communities Program
- Community Development Program
- Indigenous Employment Program
- Job Services Australia
- Transition to work
- Time to Work
- Parents Next
- Disability Employment Services
- Data Exchange (for social services)
- Employment Services System
- Household Income and Expenditure Survey
- Labour Market Activity
- National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- New South Wales Apprenticeships and Traineeships
- New South Wales Cancer Registry
- New South Wales Higher Education
- New South Wales Higher School Certificate; Record of School Achievement
- New South Wales NAPLAN Years 7 and 9
- New South Wales School Reference File
- New South Wales School and Teacher Characteristics
- New South Wales Student Outcomes Survey
- New South Wales TAFE Student Characteristics, Qualifications, Enrolment and Attainment
- New South Wales Teacher Accreditation
- New South Wales Upper Secondary School
- New South Wales Vocational Education and Training (VET) Funded Provider Collection
- New South Wales VET in Schools
- Post Program Monitoring Surveys (for social services)
- Total VET Activity
- Transgenerational Data Set (for social services)
- Victorian Out of Home Care
- Youth in Focus Survey
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 use of name and address information, please see Keeping integrated data safe.
- Analytical information may be also used to link datasets, but is primarily also 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, see MADIP.
The 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.
The Department of Social Services shares social security and related information with the ABS. It is authorised to provide this information because it has been certified by the Minister or Secretary (or delegate) as necessary and in the public interest, in accordance with:
- Section 208 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999;
- Section 168 of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999;
- Section 128 of the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010; and
- Section 355 of the Student Assistance Act 1973.
The Departments of Health and Human Services share information with the ABS from the following collections: Medicare Enrolments Database, Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule, and Centralised Register of Medical Practitioners. They are authorised to provide this information because the Minister or delegate has agreed the information is in the public interest and the Secretary has agreed to divulge this information, in accordance with:
- Section 130(3)(a) of the Health Insurance Act 1973; and
- Section 135A(3)(a) of the National Health Act 1953.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment shares information collected through the Australian Early Development Census with the ABS. This data is collected on a voluntary basis, not under specific legislation. The Department also shares vocational education and training data (relating to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program and Training Contracts) for MADIP. Information is shared in accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and the Commonwealth Arrangements for Data Integration.
The Australian Taxation Office shares personal income tax data with the ABS for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905, in accordance with the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and the Tax Law Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Act 2010.
The Department of Home Affairs shares migration data supplied with the ABS under the Australian Border Force Act 2015.
The State and Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths, and Marriages are authorised to share and provide access to such records for appropriate purposes (including those of MADIP) under their respective Births, Deaths and Marriages Acts.