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Australia lax on database compliance: survey

Australian organisations' compliance with database regulations could come under increased scrutiny after a survey found 64 percent of respondents didn't comply with such rules.The most common barrier to maintaining accurate, up-to-date data was a lack of time and internal resources, the study found.

Australian organisations' compliance with database regulations could come under increased scrutiny after a survey found 64 percent of respondents didn't comply with such rules.

The most common barrier to maintaining accurate, up-to-date data was a lack of time and internal resources, the study found.

Database regulations cover federal laws governing database use, such as those of the Federal Privacy Commission, as well as industry-specific best practice rules.

The findings also follow the development of a number of wide-ranging international sets of regulations for some industry sectors. The finance sector must come to grips with Basel II regulations on risk, while many businesses will also need to improve accountability to meet the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The results were collated from telephone interviews with 75 organisations in Australia across a range of industry sectors, and with both government and private enterprises.

Each organisation surveyed had 200 employees or more, with at least one customer/resident database. Names of the companies and government departments surveyed were kept confidential. The survey was conducted by Dynamic Markets and commissioned by data management vendor QAS.

Potentially underlining the lack of compliance by the organisations surveyed, only 20 percent of respondents were found to have formal, organisation-wide policies to manage data.

Cost savings and not compliance was nominated as the key driver for good data management by 60 percent of respondents. Reduced call or mailing costs, for example, was a big factor in driving companies to manage their information better.

The managing director of QAS Australia, Glenn Parker, said large organisations had traditionally assigned responsibility for data management to the IT department. However, due to competing priorities in such departments, IT staff were usually unable to give 'clean data' the priority that management believed it deserved, he said.