Access to statistical data related to Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.
Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
In July 2010, the Australian Government’s Declaration of Open Government affirmed its commitment to open government by providing easy to access and reusable government information.
On 7 December 2015, the Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP released the Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement. The Statement acknowledges that the data held by the Australian Government is a valuable strategic national resource and that the publishing of appropriately anonymised data will stimulate innovation and enable economic outcomes.
We work alongside the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to address the statement.
We will work with the Department of Health, Department of Social Services, Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to support the research community and make sure the information we provide improves health and welfare research outcomes.
Research could involve the use of both:
- statistical information that is publicly available, and
- individual datasets that require consideration through specific approval processes
Access to data lets researchers and the public use and reuse data elements for project and research purposes.
The relevant policy department must make sure access, use and release of data elements is authorised under the relevant legislation and regulations.
Access to publicly available departmental statistical information
You can access statistical information about our payments and services for:
We keep a data catalogue of the types of health and welfare information that is publicly available. We update it as new data becomes available. You can access the catalogue on the Australian Government Data website.
More statistical information can be found:
- in our Annual Report
- on the Information Publication Scheme page
- in our Freedom of Information disclosure log
If you need more granular data, you can request items such as:
- de-identified unit records
- consent studies
- personal information
- data linkages
If you want Centrelink or Medicare data for participants enrolled in ethically approved consent studies it is important that you contact us before recruiting participants. Some data can only be released with informed consent and within strict privacy conditions.
If you are a researcher, you can read more about the process of integrating data from different administrative or survey sources to provide new datasets for statistical and research purposes on the National Statistical Service website.
Where statistical data is not available publicly, you can request this data by contacting us.
The process and timeframes for each request can vary due to the type of data required and the complexity. Generally:
- upon receipt of your request, the request will be registered, analysed and assessed by the appropriate team - you will be provided with a unique reference number as well as documentation for you to complete
- on return of the completed documentation, your request will be initially assessed to ensure that all legislative requirements are met
- decisions to release data externally are managed in collaboration with the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health
Assessments on the release of information can include the following:
- a purpose - a specific research question or public benefit defined outcome has been identified that can reasonably be expected to support improvement of the health or wellbeing of Australians
- anonymity - anonymity checks are required before the provision of information is approved and again before the information is provided - this ensures data cannot identify an individual or entity where consent is not given
- consent - identified and identifiable information can only be provided with the valid consent of the identified people or entities - for consent to be valid it must be free, informed, competent and current
- secrecy provisions - requests can only be approved if information can be released in accordance with relevant secrecy provisions, in line with the relevant legislation
- privacy - the release of data must meet the purpose for which it was collected
After an initial assessment, we send your request to our data extraction teams. Our staff will review the request to make sure it is fit for purpose. We may contact you to clarify your data requirements with you.
We will give you a quote, which is an estimate of effort required to customise and extract your data. Once you accept the quote, we will extract the data in the agreed timeframes.
Once extracted, the data will be quality assured before it is released to you. You will then receive an invoice for payment.
Cost recovery for statistics and data requests
We may charge a fee for requests for customised statistics and data.
The amount you will be charged is based on the requirements of your request. There is no charge if publicly available data meets your needs.
If your request is complex and involves extraction of data, you will be provided with a quote. The cost for each component is outlined in the below table.
|Administration||A flat fee for initial assessment and processing of application.|
|Extraction||An hourly time and materials fee for customer liaison, request clarification, consent or committee activities, extraction, and quality assurance. This is based on the hourly rate of the person working on your request. We do not add in anything extra.|
|Clearance||A flat fee for approvals to release and invoicing activities.|
Statistical information for media
If you are looking for statistical information for a media enquiry, contact our Media team.
Email your statistics and data request to:
- Statistics team for Medicare related requests, or
- Account Management and Information Release team for Centrelink or Child Support requests
Post all statistical and data requests to:
Account Management and Information Release
Information Management Branch
Department of Human Services
PO Box 7788
Canberra BC ACT 2610