Feeds

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

Report: Public sector may struggle to support Cabinet plan

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.