B.C. government access

Information on accessing the Data Innovation Program as a B.C. government-sponsored project.

Last updated: February 9th, 2022


  • The project must be led and sponsored by a core B.C. government ministry
  • The Project Main Contact must be an employee of the B.C. government
  • Project Team Members must be employees of the B.C. government, or under agreement with the B.C. government.
  • Projects must:
    • Have a clear public benefit
    • Have a valid statistical purpose; and
    • Demonstrate sound study design and methodology

Only members of an approved project team can access data through the Data Innovation Program. To be eligible, those members must be trained government analysts and/or government-contracted researchers with a history of safe data use.

If the project does not meet the B.C. government eligibility requirements, it may meet the academic eligibility requirements.

Team roles and responsibilities


Project Main contact

  • Submits the Data Access Request (DAR); Project Team Members may support content creation for the DAR
  • Fulfills the activities, accountabilities, and responsibilities listed on the approved DAR, the engagement agreement and the oath of secrecy 
  • Acts as a point of contact for all communication between the Data Innovation Program and the project
  • Submits output checking requests (Project Team Members may also submit)
  • Submits any DAR amendments
  • Submits pre-publication review requests
  • Adheres to the communications and pre-publication requirements

Working with contracted resources

If a member of the project team is contracted to government (not an employee), the contract must be held by the B.C. government ministry sponsoring the project. The ministry that holds the contract is required to:

  • Provide the Data Innovation Program with a copy of the agreement between the individual and the core ministry
  • Assume responsibility for recruiting, engaging and managing all contracted resources requiring access to the secure analytics environment (SAE)
  • Ensure the contracted team member understands they must complete the same eligibility and data access requirements as ministry team members (e.g., must be listed on the DAR, complete all SAE access requirements, and adhere to the requirements listed on the engagement agreement and the oath of secrecy)
  • Establish and manage the financial terms with the contractor

Project Team Members

  • Fulfils the activities, accountabilities, and responsibilities listed on the approved DAR engagement agreement, and oath of secrecy
  • Adheres to the communications and pre-publication requirements
  • Submits output checking requests
  • If under contract with a ministry, adheres to the terms and conditions of that contract

Ministry Sponsor

  • Is typically an executive director or assistant deputy minister
  • Confirms the availability of and provides the resources (team members and expertise) necessary to complete the project. If the project requires additional data science expertise, contact the Data Science Partnership (DSP) Program
  • Is accountable for the actions and behaviour of the project team, including contracted resources
  • Is accountable for the project, outputs, results, and materials
  • Is accountable for any contracts with external researchers and manages differences in obligations between the ministry contract and Data Innovation Program requirements (e.g. confidentiality and permission to independently publish)


B.C. government project stages

The following identifies the key project stages in the Data Innovation Program and provides additional information to assist the planning and delivering of the project. Project teams will be notified as soon as possible of any changes to projected timelines.



Prepare for a smooth approval and access process by:  

  • Discussing the project at a high level with the Data Innovation Program before beginning
  • Review the Data Access Request (DAR) application fields. See Accessing the Data Innovation Program for more information
  • Confirm the datasets available within the Data Innovation Program will support your project objectives. See BC Data Catalogue to review Metadata
  • Identify the project’s Ministry Sponsor and ensure they are familiar with their responsibilities
  • Ensure agreements are in place for any contracted resources prior to submitting the DAR

If assistance is required developing the project's research questions, study design or methodology, or if there is a need for additional data science capacity, please contact the Data Science Partnership Program.



Ensure that the DAR is complete prior to submission. After the DAR is submitted, project teams can:

  • Monitor online where the DAR is in the approval process
  • Respond to comments or make any edits to the DAR, as required
  • Request updates on timelines for project approval and provisioning

The Data Innovation Program supports applications in ensuring that the DAR is complete prior to submission for final approvals.


Review and approvals

Once the DAR has successfully passed the pre-review:

  • The Ministry Sponsor approves
  • Additional approvals, if the project has selected specific datasets. Projects using these datasets receive a notification during pre-review or by contacting the Data Innovation Program to during the preparation stage
  • The Director of Statistics provides final approval

Data access

Once a project receives final approval, data will be provisioned into the SAE. To access the data, the project team must:

  • Complete all access requirements
  • Attend an onboarding session

Changing an approved project

When changes occur after a project approval, the project team must complete a request to amend the DAR. Changes include:

  • Adding, removing, or replacing Project Team Members
  • Changing the Project Main Contact
  • Changing or revising research questions or methodology
  • Extending the project timeline
  • Requesting additional data

Once submitted, the DAR amendment is pre-reviewed and forwarded for final approvals.


Output checking

Before removing research results from the SAE, all projects must have their outputs checked. Output checking is in place to ensure that any results removed from the SAE or discussed outside of the project team are in adherence to the Statistics Act.

Contact the Data Innovation Program with any questions.

Pre-publication review

Projects are required to submit all materials that will be used in any external communications. The materials will be reviewed to ensure there has been no gross misuse of data, that the terms of the engagement agreement have been complied with, and the data is appropriately referenced and cited.


Project closure

When a project is nearing its end date, the project team must complete the closure checklist provided by the Data Innovation Program. Following the checklist ensures projects are archived according to the program requirements. Upon closure, the entire project team loses access to the contents of the project folder in the SAE.


To contact the Data Innovation Program team, please open a ticket here.