Data sharing in government

This blog was established to support civil society engagement with government departments to explore the benefits, risks, limitations and governance for sharing personal data within government.

An open policy making process has been conducted, whereby civil society organisations, privacy groups, officials from a number of government departments, academics and representatives from parts of the wider public sector explored the suitability of data sharing.

This work occurred between April 2014 and March 2015 in the run up to the general election. The open policy making process looked at the suitability of data sharing for three purposes:

  1. enhancing the availability of high quality research and statistics from administrative data;
  2. preventing fraud and helping citizens manage the debt they have with government; and
  3. ensuring the right services are offered to the right person at the right time.

This work concluded in March 2015 with the publication of a policy paper, outlining the areas of agreement (and disagreement) reached by those involved.

The open policy making process was reconvened between December 2015 and February 2016 to review the suitability of data sharing for the three purposes outlined above, in addition to looking at three new proposals not in the original process:

  1. data sharing to support better management of debt owed to government
  2. data sharing to assist citizens who are living in fuel poverty
  3. sharing civil registration information to assist public bodies to fulfill their functions

This phase of the open policy making process is now over.

The consultation looking at all the data sharing proposals is now open here. The consultation will run for 8 weeks from 29 February. 

Both the original open policy making process and the reconvened process was coordinated by Involve, a civil society organisation that works to open up decision making in government, and the Cabinet Office data sharing policy team.

We’ve been asked about participation in the data sharing process. Click here for a list of all the organisations who signed up to attend one or more of the workshops.