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Civil Service to test personal data stores



DWP aims to take user platform prototype developed by GDS to alpha stage

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is preparing to test the concept of a personal data store for civil servants, as part of a programme kicked off by the Government Digital Service (GDS) to develop a user platform for central government employees.

The department is currently hiring digital specialists in its role of seed adopter of the alpha phase of the project, with some of its technology staff to take part in the first pilot.

It is part of a plan to provide a personal data store for every civil servant. This would hold their personal information, such as work objectives, career history and specialist skills, which they could update and share with others as they choose.

It reflects an interest in an approach that has been offered to government in recent years as a solution to enabling people to pass on their data while maintaining their privacy. While not developing a high profile it has had a role in the GOV.UK Verify programme.

A number of small companies emerged as providers of personal data stores, the most prominent of which has been Mydex. The company was on the initial list of providers for Verify, although it has since been removed.

Discovery phase

A GDS blog says the stores are an element of a broader platform, currently in a discovery phase, which could support civil servants in their work.

Features of the prototype include the ability to upload career information, a job search function, a people directory, a checklist for new starters and performance reviews.

“It’s not designed to replace any of the large systems many departments depend on for complex interactions like payroll management, but it is designed to change how data is passed in and out of those systems to make them easier for civil servants to use,” the blog says.

GDS says it does not want to do everything and the DWP will take the lead in the next phase, although they will work together.

Civil Service Learning is funding an additional work programme focused on improving training and development for civil servants.

Image from GOV.UK under Open Government Licence v3.0



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