Federalism: US solution for UK?

Filed under: Governance,Innovation,Standards — lenand @ 10:31 pm
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Public sector silos are the root cause inefficient shared information services.  It is a bold statement that needs some justification. Islands of automation can and do succeed; they have autonomy.  Local authorities and small agencies can manage any governance issues.  The real problems arise whenever attempts are made to share data outside the organisation’s sphere of control.  This is clearly the place for common understanding and cries out for standards.

Whilst these thoughts are not new, more practical technology backing is coming out of a British inspired development, which has been effectively migrated to the USA.   The Americans have a more natural affinity for federalism:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment, United States Constitution

So let us accept silos, don’t be ashamed of them, but also mandate interoperability enablers to a federation.  Laws that everybody has to obey are the key to success.  This could start with an agreement to understand ISO 18876.  It could continue with agreements on reference data and the limited amount of data that needs to flow between agencies.  With a bit of luck, it could finish with identity management where trust is also shared.


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