Data-sharing a hurdle for PSN, says key adviser

Civil servants working with the Public Services Network (PSN) risk finding that they don’t hold data in the right format or location to share it via the network even once the right infrastructure is in pace, the Cabinet Office’s senior policy adviser on PSN has said.


By Civil Service World

25 Apr 2012

Jon Williams, PSN senior adviser, told CSW last week that “as much as PSN can provide the pipework, the road network for people to use, I think the challenge is going to be when [departments] start working to break their information sources down and deliver it in a very different way. That is the next big hurdle.”

He added that “we’ve created the opportunity that you can consume data in a different way,” opening up opportunities to share information – but this won’t be possible unless a much wider group of public workers than the PSN specialists are engaged and persuaded of the project’s potential.

HMRC and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will be among the first central government departments to begin their transition to the PSN. MoJ chief information officer Andy Nelson told CSW earlier this month (p19, 12 April) that his team is working to “re-architect” data so that different elements of each file are graded at an appropriate level of security, opening the way forward for much greater data exchange with the MoJ’s partner organisations.

Meanwhile, 12 successful bidders have been chosen for the PSN Connectivity Framework. Announcing the bidders on 23 March, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the PSN is a “fundamental building block” of the government’s ICT strategy.

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