IT Access

The Data Exchange provides a streamlined IT solution for data capture and reporting for over 46 Commonwealth programs across the Department of Social Services as well as some programs from the Department of Health and the Attorney-General’s Department.

Service providers can choose to provide their data in three different ways:

  • Direct entry through the web-based portal, which can be used like a free case management system
  • System-to-system transfer
  • Bulk uploads

Getting started

The Quick start guide can help you get started. Once completed, this will provide your organisation with access to the system. The key steps are outlined below:

  1. obtain an AUSkey certificate. If you are not already registered for AUSkey, registration information is available on the Australian Business Register website.
  2. complete the User access request form and email the form to dssdataexchange.helpdesk@dss.gov.au.

Once access is granted, a range of other training resources and guidance material is available to support organisations to use the Data Exchange. A pre-production environment is also available to developers for testing system-to-system transfers and bulk uploads and can be accessed by emailing dataexchange.developersupport@dss.gov.au.

Should you need further assistance, refer to the Helpdesk page.

Web-based portal

A free web-based portal has been made available to organisations who may wish to use this like a case management system to submit their program performance data. It replaces a number of similar IT systems that were in operation across the Department.

The web-based portal can be accessed from the Log in tab, on the top right hand corner of any screen on this website.

Technical specifications

The Technical specifications are designed for service providers wanting to use system-to-system transfers or bulk uploads to submit their data to the Data Exchange. There are two documents in total. One describing the process for system to system transfers and the other outlining the requirements for the bulk upload functionality.

These documents provide technical details about the data format and system requirements, and are primarily aimed at IT managers, system developers and software providers. From time to time the specifications will be updated to reflect enhanced functionality and features. These changes can occur through a combination of user feedback as part of our continual improvement process, or as new program activities come on-board such as the Commonwealth Home Support Program which commenced using the Data Exchange on 1 November 2015.

System to system transfer

The Web services technical specifications (system-to-system transfers) covers the following:

  • Interface details – technical infrastructure, interface messages, security, authentication and errors
  • Interface data – data formats and commonly used data terms
  • Interface examples
  • Interface availability
  • Detailed specifications

Bulk uploads

The Bulk file upload technical specifications covers the following:

  • Interface details – technical infrastructure, security and authentication
  • Reference data
  • Bulk upload XML file – data formats, commonly used data terms, examples
  • Error processing

Extension request form

As per the Data Exchange Protocols, service providers can choose to enter data any time within a reporting period. Once a reporting period has closed (30 January and 30 July) this data will not be able to be submitted to the Department, except under exceptional circumstances following consultation with Grant Agreement Managers. Should your organisation experience exceptional circumstances that will prevent you from meeting the reporting requirements, please ensure you contact your Grant Agreement Manager to discuss the situation.

The Extension request form should be submitted to facilitate this process clearly documenting the reasons why exceptional circumstances apply. Please note that the completion of this form does not guarantee that an extension will be approved. Task card 17 – Extension request form – For Service Providers and Grant Agreement Managers, provides guidance on how to complete the Extension request form.

Further information

A Frequently Asked Questions document for technical questions is available.

A Bulk XML upload errors & explanation document is available to assist those providers undertaking the file upload method of data transmission.

For IT systems access and technical enquiries, including how to access the pre-production environment and technical support please email Dataexchange.developersupport@dss.gov.au. You can also subscribe to receive the latest Data Exchange updates.