BEIS pushes on with digitisation of statue book

Department wishes to make its legislation easier for employees to search

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is engaging in a project to digitise more than a decade’s worth of legislation to make it more easily accessible for civil servants.

The project, which covers about 600 pieces of current and historic legislation, got underway in July 2018. The department’s aim is to “make information on its legislation more easily available in digital form for officials”.

Legislation covered by the project includes all statutes from the beginning of 2008 onwards for which BEIS is the designated lead department. This includes all laws led on by any of BEIS’s predecessors, the departments for: Energy and Climate Change; Business, Innovation and Skills; Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; and Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Employing methods previoulsy trialled during a similar project at another department, BEIS has already worked with a contractor to comb through its legislative archives and create “an Excel sheet containing metadata and information on its legislation”.

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The department is now looking to progress the project, and is seeking another supplier that can provide “support and quality assurance in bringing together metadata in a specified format”. This will include analysing the data, providing more detail where required, and organising it based on certain taxonomic rules.

The end product of this work should be two or more Excel workbooks indexing statutes over a specified time period.

The chosen supplier will, the department said, be appointed to a contract worth £15,000, lasting about three weeks and scheduled to commence on 8 March. Bids for the work are open until 25 February.

“BEIS will provide the contractor with partially completed Excel Workbooks and specific data validation rules,” the department said. “The contractor will be asked to complete and check the primary and secondary legislation metadata. This is to be done through gathering information from and summarising it in the appropriate workbook.”


Sam Trendall

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