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Reflecting on our work about information

Auditor-General's report, Reflecting on our work about information

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about information was presented to the House of Representatives today.

Information plays an essential role in every decision an organisation makes or expects to make. It informs decisions about service delivery, supports evidence-based policy development and decision-making, and helps measure performance and effectiveness.

Recently, we looked at aspects of how well the public sector uses and manages information. We wanted to provide an independent view of how well public organisations collect, store, and use information to inform good decision-making. This report brings together some reflections from our work and some of the matters raised include:

• Public organisations should treat information as a strategic asset, which means that its value is recognised and there is a deliberate strategy for how information is managed and governed.
• How information is collected is important and public organisation should keep reviewing systems and processes for managing their information so they are fit-for-purpose.
• The public sector is facing a transformative challenge – to work together to design and deliver services – and we saw examples of public organisations successfully collaborating to design digital services for people and businesses.
• Where services are designed around the needs of individuals, and information is shared between agencies, privacy considerations can be built into the design of those processes.

Our report includes questions that public organisations should ask themselves when using and managing information. Those questions cover:

• understanding and collecting the right information;
• managing information effectively;
• the privacy and security of information;
• using information to make good decisions; and
• using technology to provide information and services.

Public organisations are encouraged to consider the matters raised in our report and whether they are using and managing information in ways that allow them to best provide public services.

This report is also available as an epub and a two-page summary.


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