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Cabinet Office framework for data sharing released



name plate of the Cabinet Office, Whitehall
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The Central Digital and Data Office, part of the Cabinet Office, has released a framework to encourage and grow data sharing across all levels of the public sector. Released on May 23, 2022, the framework is the next step in the National Data Strategy, which was released in 2020.

The Data Sharing Governance Framework is primarily focused on addressing non-technological barriers to data sharing in the public sector. “The non-technical barriers to efficient data sharing in government arise where public sector bodies have not set data sharing as a strategic priority,” said the Central Digital & Data Office at the release of the framework.

There is recognition of the data skills within the public sector. “This Framework is an important step forward in bringing that expertise together and working in partnership to align data sharing governance systems, processes and approaches.”

In addition, the framework is part of the Declaration on Government Reform, which aims to promote the civil service and the government to work together on government modernisation, as well as the Data Ethics Framework, first created by the Government Digital Service.

Senior leaders, both in data and technology roles, are whom the framework is aimed at. Data is a devolved issue and the Welsh and Scottish governments.

As part of the National Data Strategy, the framework seeks to “improve data use in government” and “to deliver better services and outcomes”. To do this, the government accepts that it needs clear and common governance standards around public sector data and sets out five principles, which include a commitment to accountability for data sharing, enabling easy data sharing, increasing the value of data the organisation holds and to increase the discoverability and interoperability of data.

“Your department or organisation should make sure that using and reusing data, including accessing data from other government organisations and making your own data accessible, is a strategic priority,” said the Central Digital and Data Office.

“Public sector organisations will need to continue to carefully consider data protection and ethical issues. Where government data is assessed as not personally identifying or otherwise sensitive or restricted, our default position should be to make it available for sharing,” the framework says of PII data.

Data protection remains a high priority for public sector organisations, and the framework adds little that is not already in place at most civic organisations. The framework states: “You should consider data protection law as a way to make sure that you are sharing data responsibly. Sharing personal data across government can be seen as a high-risk activity, but you should not be discouraged from sharing this kind of data if there are good reasons to do it.”


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