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UK data chief seeks end to government information silos

Kable - Mike Bracken talks need for shared information registers across government - MP Matt Warman considers possible change in attitudes to single cradle-to-grave identity

UK chief data officer Mike Bracken has said the government will be "lost" in its digital transformation aims without ensuring it implements open standards as work continues around stepping away from traditional silo approaches to information sharing across Whitehall.

Speaking in London yesterday, Government Digital Service (GDS) executive director Bracken, who was appointed to the dual role of the UK data chief in March, outlined key challenges from his initial efforts in trying to tackle the organisational and data silos he currently feels have limited more effective sharing of information.

"It's early days, but I think we've created a model for digital leadership and then technology leadership, different networks of skilled civil servants. We've hired a lot of people in the data space. We now need to do the same. There are thousands of diligent civil servants working really hard to maintain lists of stuff, which become registers and they are all often doing it in the same place," he said of his work.

Bracken added that this work on lists was occurring within the same departments, albeit with different agencies.