Government Digital Service sets up Register Design Authority to promote a more effective data infrastructure

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has unveiled its new Register Design Authority (RDA) in a bid to promote an “ecosystem of linked registers”.

According to the government, the RDA, which sits in the GDS data group, will make sure that registers “accurately and helpfully reflect the interconnectedness of government data”.

In a blog post, Ade Adewunmi, digital strategy advisor at GDS, said that the new body will register custodians who are responsible for running registers and are the domain experts, to “ensure that the data in their registers is modelled in ways that meet users’ needs, and work with other registers in the government data ecosystem”.

The RDA will also have domain control of

One priority for the organisations will be to avoid unhelpful and confusing replication of data and ensure that registers are trustworthy.

Adewunmi said that there are a number of factors the Register Design Authority team considers when it comes to the creation of a register.

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“These considerations have implications for the modelling of the data within registers and the way the registers are run. Only once these conditions have been met can the register begin operating on the domain,” she said.

She added that the team will also look at where a new register sits within the linked ecosystem. She said that the organisation would not support the creation of new registers when reliable ones already exist.

“Having a single register means establishing agreement and saves services having to decide which list to use. So given there’s already a country register, the register design authority won’t support the creation of another “nation” register on, unless that proved to be a different concept,” said Adewumni.

The organisation will also intervene if there is a conflict over which part of government should be the source of data for a register. “If it’s still not obvious who is best placed to be run a register, we will escalate this decision to the Data Leaders Network for review,” she said.

“We want registers to work across government, and not just for a single service or organisation.
“That’s why the team needs to spend time working with the custodian and services, to ensure that the data in the register can be kept as accurate and as up to date as possible.

“Users need to be confident about these things and have the appropriate access tools, for the data held in registers to be considered good enough to build services,” added Adewunmi.

Colin Marrs

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