Project proposal

A data integration project using Commonwealth data for statistical or research purposes is expected to offer significant overall benefits to the public, be an appropriate use of the integrated dataset and be consistent with the High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes.

The data user (researcher) wishing to undertake a statistical or research project that is in scope of the Commonwealth arrangements should prepare a project proposal. During this stage, data users may need to consult with the data custodian(s) to clarify some of the details for the project, particularly around the data items required for the project.

In some circumstances an integrating authority may assist with the preparation of the project proposal. In such circumstances it should be noted that the final decision concerning which integrating authority to appoint will remain subject to the outcome of the risk assessment. To be compliant with the Commonwealth arrangements, if the project is assessed as high risk, an accredited Integrating Authority is to be appointed for the project. In other cases, during the initial implementation of the Commonwealth arrangements, the integrating authority should be a Commonwealth agency able to comply with the high level principles (for more information about the initial implementation arrangements see Scope of the Commonwealth Arrangements). If there are multiple data custodians, all data custodians must approve the choice of integrating authority.

The project proposal will be used in the next stage to assist data custodians to decide whether or not to provide in-principle approval for the project to proceed.

The project proposal should cover the following aspects of the project:

  • a summary of the proposed project, including the objectives of the project and confirmation that it is for the purpose of statistical analysis and research only;
  • details of data custodians involved;
  • details of source datasets and the data items required for the project;
  • possible linking methodology
  • expected project outputs, including the public benefits that would be obtained if the proposed project were to proceed;
  • details of any independent assessment proposed or already undertaken (such as ethics committee approvals, public interest determination or an advisory committee with community representation);
  • proposed integrating authority (optional);
  • a preliminary assessment of project (optional) risk [1.  An assessment of risk provided by the data user does not replace the requirement for the data custodians to undertake a risk assessment using the Risk Framework.]

A project proposal template has been designed to assist data users at this stage of the process. However, other existing project proposal templates may also be used, providing any additional information required for data integration projects involving Commonwealth data.

For more information about the project application and approval process see: