Central government ‘reluctant to share data with councils’

Less than a third of central government civil servants say their department shares data with local government, according to a new survey.

A poll of 4,400 UK officials found the low score (31%) came despite data sharing with councils being a priority with 83% of respondents.

Supplier CGI, which carried out the poll, sad that the results showed the need for a greater focus on data sharing across the public sector.

Steve Thorn, senior vice president for the public sector at CGI, said: “During the spending review the chancellor lent support to both digital technologies and greater collaboration as critical approaches to achieving transformation across the public sector.

“However, this research clearly demonstrates that more needs to be done to foster data sharing within the public sector if we are to deliver on the efficiency opportunities presented by greater collaboration.

“Sharing data within Whitehall is to be encouraged but it’s only half the battle – local government organisations need to be a key part of the action too.”

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The majority of those surveyed (71%) said that they share data with other central government departments.

When asked what barriers existed to sharing more data, the most cited example was cyber security concerns (49%), with interoperability second on 38%.

Only 8% of respondents said their department makes data available via open data platforms.

Colin Marrs

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