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Setting practical open standards for the public sector  - Government's CTO, Liam Maxwell, is keen to engage local government and the wider public sector in the Open Standards setting process.

"The idea is to get rid of the complexity and walls in government... GDS is about building world class services for the citizen." Open standards, he maintains, are key to delivering the interoperability this new approach requires.

The standards currently being set by the open standards board Maxwell leads will be mandatory only for central government - not for health or local government. However, if the dream of joined up service delivery for the citizen is to be achieved all parts of the public sector will need to agree common standards.

The first three open standards 'challenges' go before the Open Standards Board for decision on 24th September. These are:

1. Describing and sharing information, centred on meta data and vocabularies
2. Cross platform character encoding
3. Persistent resolvable identifiers