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GDS works on management tool for register custodians

09/02/18

Team aims to make it easier for custodians in departments and agencies to update canonical lists of government entities

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is working on a tool to help the custodians of registers - the canonical lists that act as a definitive source for naming specific types of entities – to manage the data.

ListIt wants to make it easier for the custodians, who are based in different departments around Whitehall, to make any changes directly rather than having to notify the Registers Team in the Cabinet Office.

It has developed a prototype tool to make this possible and is now running a procurement for support in taking it to private beta, running security and standards tests and developing acceptance criteria for the custodians.

The procurement notice says that as the number of registers grows there is a need for them to update data themselves and develop the sense of ownership and accountability. This requires an intuitive management tool that enables them to delegate to other members of their teams under different levels of permission.

Overall, it should reduce the effort in updating the lists and help to ensure the data is accurate and up-to-date.

Possible rebuild

While GDS has built an alpha version of the tool, it said it may need rebuilding from scratch.

Work on the registers began two years ago as part of building a national data infrastructure for the public sector. So far there are 22 available, listing subjects such as countries, local authorities, government organisations and registration districts, and work is in progress on another 44.

Currently 10 government services are using GOV.UK registers.

Speaking last October at UKAuthority’s Data4Good event, Ellie Craven, product lead for data infrastructure in GDS, called on public sector officials to get more involved in building the lists and suggest new ones.

Image by Jaksmata, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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