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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has won a prestigious FutureGov 2011 international award for innovation and modernisation.

The award, for the AIHW’s METeOR Metadata Online Registry, was announced in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over the weekend.

The Institute won the Information Management category, recognising ‘excellence in the efficient capture, storage and distribution of citizen information’.

METeOR is a web-based system for managing, developing and storing data definitions and standards (metadata).

‘Metadata are in effect data about data’, said AIHW Director and CEO, David Kalisch.

‘In the METeOR environment they provide nationally agreed underlying structures, definitions and user guidance for all kinds of data items across health, community services and housing assistance.’

‘METeOR complies with the internationally accepted ISO/IEC 11179 standard for metadata registries, and we have over 35 agencies actively using the facility.’

‘Through METeOR anyone can find, view and download over 2,600 data standards. And if the standard you want does not exist, you can use METeOR’s metadata creation tools to create a proposed standard, seek expert feedback, and get the standard endorsed nationally —all online, and all free of charge.’

‘And in a recent development we can now offer METeOR’s capabilities outside of health and welfare, which has attracted interest from several State departments and the New Zealand government.’

‘Metadata are crucial to data quality because they enable all data users to have exactly the same understanding of any data item so that we really do compare apples with apples, and record them in the same way using the same units of measurement and data codes.’

‘We are very proud to have won this award because METeOR has brought real efficiencies to our business by revolutionising the way users develop, collaboratively review, submit, process and disseminate new data standards’, Mr Kalisch said.

The FutureGov awards are open to government, education and healthcare organisations and city administrations in Australasia, Asia and the Middle East.  Over 800 entries are received each year.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 17 October 2011

Further information: Teresa Dickinson, 02 6249 5104, 0439 430 577.

  • METeOR AIHW's Metadata Online Registry.