Helping Government retain control of data

Central Digital and Data Office

helping_government_retain_control_of_data

The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) leads the digital, data and technology (DDaT) function for government. It was created in early 2021 with around 100 staff transferred from GDS (Government Digital Service). It is responsible for digital, data and technology strategy and standards, cross-government DDaT performance and assurance and DDaT capability development.

The CDDO is part of the Cabinet Office and one of its key initiatives is the Technology Code of Practice.

The challenge

The Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) is a cross-government agreed standard used for the Cabinet Office spend control process and the Local Digital Declaration. It is a set of criteria designed to help government design, build and buy technology and it consists of eleven well-defined criteria.

Before the CDDO was fully formed, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wanted to update, improve and expand upon the criteria point 10: ‘Make better use of data’ to help buyers of technology across government improve how they utilise their data.

Data is often tied up in different systems from different vendors and it is not often possible to retain high quality data when individual system components or contracts come to the end of their life. At the same time, data availability and reuse are key factors that improve efficiencies in modern business processes and allows Government to provide better services for its users.

Improving point 10 of the Technology Code of Practice helps buyers to retain more control over the data that is produced as a by-product of their business processes rather than having to throw it away.

Register Dynamics’ experience of working with Data in the public sector meant that we were best placed to improve this key section of the Technology Code of Practice.

What we did

Our team executed an in-depth analysis and evaluation of the technology procurement and assurance processes across government. By working closely with top senior technology advisors across government we explored various issues, challenges and successes in relation to using government data.

We discovered key areas to improve upon and that would benefit from more standardisation and use of specific data regulations. One key finding was to agree and ensure the use of standard contracts with suppliers so that there is easy access to all of the data. We defined “easy access” to mean in an open standard data format and through an API that follows the GDS API technical and data standards.

The result

Our work and findings have resulted in the updated guidance now seen in the Technology Code of Practice, point 10: Make better use of data.

We believe that the guidance offered here will help improve data across government and thus for everyone.