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Data Governance

Introduction

Data lies at the heart of Government.

Data informs decision-making and shapes public policy. It is central to the delivery of public services.

As our society evolves, so too does the demand for better and more efficient use of data in the delivery of public policies and public services. In order to optimise the use of our data to meet this demand, Government has put in place a number of measures to improve the public service data and its use: the Public Service Data Strategy and the Data Sharing and Governance Act.

When both are put into practice they will create a strong and supportive data ecosystem for the Public Service.

Data Governance Unit

The current Public Service Data Strategy 2019 -2023 contains a number of data actions that will provide a transformative effect for the Public Service and benefits to both citizens and businesses.

The Data Governance Unit in the Office of Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) is tasked with delivering a programme of work to implement the Public Service Data Strategy. There are four sections in the Unit:

  • Data Strategy
  • Data Policy
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Governance Support

Central to these is the ongoing development of policy, guidelines and standards on how data is managed within the Public Service. To satisfy this requirement, the are responsible for the following:

  • design and implementation of standards and guidelines for data management across the Public Service
  • development of the processes and guidelines for implementation of the Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019
  • provide guidance and advice to support the evolution of data legalisation
  • supporting the eGov Team in development of policy for MyData Portal
  • EU Representation in all areas of data management

Read more about the Data Policy Team

Public Service Data Strategy 2019-2023

The Public Service Data Strategy 2019-2023 sets out a detailed vision with a set of goals and actions to deliver a more joined-up whole-of-Government approach to how data is used and managed within the public service. It aims to put in place a series of measures to improve how data is governed, managed and re-used in a secure, efficient and transparent manner, for the benefit of citizens, businesses and policy makers.

Its implementation will assist the Government in its drive to improve services to the public by:

providing more joined-up and integrated, end-to-end digital services

  • providing better processes for policy formulation and evaluation
  • improving protection and transparency of personal data processing
  • reducing administration by cutting the need for businesses and citizens to provide the same data over and over again

Following widespread consultation, the Strategy was drafted and published by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), which has responsibility for its implementation.

Read more about Public Service Data Strategy

Data Management

Data management is the process of managing the end-to-end lifecycle of data, from its creation or collection to its publication or destruction. Across the Public Service, there are many examples of good data management practices being employed in individual Public Service Bodies. These good practices already being employed by PSBs should serve as the foundation for building a more co-ordinated, consistent approach to data management in a whole-of-Government manner.

The Data Governance Unit aims to build on these good practices in order to make best practice data management in the Public Service – standard practice data management in the Public Service. Advice, guidance and tooling will be provided to assist PSBs in the management of its data in a consistent and whole-of-Government manner.

Public Service Data Catalogue

The Public Service Data Catalogue provides information on the wide-ranging data held by the public service in Ireland. This range includes personal data and business data as well as data critical to the delivery of public services and the formulating of public policy. This data comes from a range of different sources. Public Service Data can be broadly grouped into the following categories; Personal, Business, Spatial, and Sensitive Personal.

Data Governance Board

What the Data Governance Board is

The Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 provides for the establishment of a Data Governance Board and will consist of public servants and external representation.  The Board will play a key role in implementing the provisions of the Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019.

Under the legislation the Board has a clearly defined set of legal powers and obligations and will advise the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on the following:

  • the designation and operation of Base Registries (to store citizens data)
  • advise the Minister on the introduction of data management standards and guidelines
  • promote and report on Public Service Bodies compliance with the above standards and guidelines
  • advise the Minister on the prohibition of collection of certain data by PSBs
  • advise the Minister on directing PSBs to share data under the Act
  • advise the Minister on the designation and operation of Base Registries
  • review all data sharing agreements under the Act

Read more about Data Governance Board

Analytics/Data Hubs

Data Analytics is a process of inspecting, cleansing and transforming data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

Work the team is doing

The Data Analytics team are working on a range of projects that will ultimately lead to better management and analysis of data.

  • reporting on, and analysing available datasets
  • investigating the benefits of Virtual Data Rooms for the Public Service

What it means for you

Data can play a pivotal role in evidence based policy making. Sharing and the accessing of data through reporting solutions can enhance operational efficiencies and respond to the ever-changing public need.

Where to get more information

See the Public Service Data Strategy

Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019

The Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 was enacted in March 2019.  The Act comes on foot of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. It clarifies the legality of data sharing between public bodies and introduces data governance within the Public Service on a statutory footing.

The Act, a core part of the Public Service Data Strategy, sets out to reform the way Public Service Bodies (PSBs) share and use data in order to improve public services. It provides a general legal basis for PSBs to engage in the sharing of data, while also setting out appropriate safeguards under which such sharing must take place.

The Act also gives a range of powers to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to Public Service data governance. These include:

  • the introduction of data management standards and guidelines
  • prohibiting or enforcing the collection of certain data by PSBs
  • directing PSBs to share data under the Act
  • cataloguing all data sharing in the Public Service
  • designating Base Registries
  • the creation of a Unique Business Identifier
  • the creation of a Personal Data Portal
  • the creation of a Data Governance Board

The Government wants to improve how data is governed and managed and this Act will allow data to be re-used in a secure, efficient and transparent way. This will benefit citizens, businesses and policy makers in government by facilitating a more consistent approach to data sharing. It will allow us to deliver integrated digital services for citizens and businesses

Under the legislation a Data Governance Board will be established with a clearly defined set of legal powers and obligations in advising the Minister on the introduction and adoption of data management standards and guidelines.  The Board will review all data sharing agreements under the Act using a defined process.

Read more about Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019

GDPR

The Data Governance Unit is working to implement the Public Service Data Strategy across the Public Service. This includes the introduction of a set of standards and guidelines, in line with GDPR Article 40. These standards will help to ensure a uniform approach to data management for all Public Bodies.

GDPR and the Data Sharing and Governance Act

The Data Sharing and Governance Act (the Act) which was signed into law in March 2019, gives further effect to the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. It specifically clarifies the rules and exceptions of sharing personal data between public bodies and gives surety and legality to those bodies wishing to begin disclosing or receiving data.

Where to get more information

There are a number of resources available if you would like to find out more about GDPR and Data Protection in Ireland.