Feeds

Gov's 'open data' strategy: It'll cost too much and won't work

Report: Public sector may struggle to support Cabinet plan

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Cabinet Office has revealed "concern" over whether the public sector's IT is up to the job of supporting more transparency, from responses to last year's open data consultation.

The consultation, which closed in October, drew more than 400 responses from industry, government and other interested parties. The Cabinet Office asked for feedback on issues including how best to gather and make use of data held by the public sector, how to encourage the private sector to make use of it, and how to bolster individuals' rights to access their own data held by public sector, known as an 'enhanced right to data'.

Questions were raised by the respondents over whether current public sector IT is up to the task of supporting the enhanced right to data and whether organisations are sufficiently skilled.

"Doubts were raised about the capacity of existing government IT systems to deliver an enhanced right to data. Many respondents questioned the capability of some public bodies, particularly smaller organisations, to deliver an enhanced right to data when resources are already stretched, whilst some felt the costs associated with developing systems capable of maintaining large datasets might prove prohibitive," the Cabinet Office's report on the responses said. "Again, uncertainty was expressed as to whether public bodies possess the requisite skills to effectively deliver an enhanced right to data."

Any enhanced right to data would also need "change in IT delivery at the strategic level" according to respondents, while both the tender process and the way in which IT contracts are set up would also need to be re-examined, the report said.

"Respondents broadly agreed it will be necessary to incorporate open data standards into future contracts in order to effectively implement an enhanced right to data and that government should publish clear guidelines setting out future expectations. A number of respondents were clear that they thought the progression of the agenda should not be contingent on the incorporation of open data principles into existing contracts," the report said.

Central government respondents listed concerns around the cost of developing a public sector data inventory, describing them as "a possible barrier to significant change", the report said.

"Of the responses submitted by organisations within the industry category, most suggested developing effective data inventories would pose significant challenges from an ICT perspective, an area in which government has a poor track record," it added.

The government will be setting out its open data strategy in 2012, according to the Cabinet Office, with those who responded to the consultation showing "widespread support" for the open data and transparency.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.