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UK Government Responds to National Data Strategy Consultation


Today (18 May) the UK Government has responded to the public consultation on the National Data Strategy.

The DMA has so far played a pivotal role in developing the proposals, by contributing to the initial Ministerial scoping roundtable with DCMS Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden, and Data Minister, John Whittingdale. The DMA also hosted a senior industry roundtable for the civil servants in charge of its delivery and has submitted responses to the consultation with outputs from this roundtable and from the DMA. We have also worked with the DCMS Select Committee in the House of Commons to brief them on the industry perspective for their effective scrutiny of the proposals.

The Government announced its intention to deliver the strategy in the following way:

"Going forward, our focus will shift to implementation — delivering across the Strategy’s five key missions as priority areas of action. This will include, but not be limited to, delivering against the commitments made in the framework strategy. To support effective delivery, we are structuring the implementation work programme around four core priorities. These are outlined below.

  • Monitoring: We are monitoring the delivery of the actions we committed to in the September publication. We are also developing a set of high-level indicators to support our ability to monitor the overall progress of implementation.
  • Governance: We are developing a governance framework to ensure clear lines of accountability for implementation. This will empower us to deliver the priority outcomes of each of the strategy’s missions. A cross-Whitehall National Data Strategy Implementation Steering Group will assume ultimate accountability for the strategy’s delivery.
  • Evaluation: Data use is a relatively novel policy area. We are currently scoping and assessing the most effective metrics for evaluating the success of our interventions to support implementation, as well as to ensure that the National Data Strategy delivers its intended outcomes.
  • Engagement: To ensure that we remain as open and collaborative in our approach as possible, we are creating a National Data Strategy Forum of key advocates and influencers, outlining our commitment to ensuring diverse perspectives inform the implementation of the National Data Strategy. This will draw together experts from a cross-section of stakeholder groups, facilitating collaboration across the data landscape. Given the cross-cutting nature of data and its far-reaching implications for our society and economy, it is important to recognise that the government cannot - and should not - deliver on the ambitions of the National Data Strategy alone."

The full government response can be accessed here.

Commenting on the proposals, Media and Data Minister John Whittingdale said:

“Through the pandemic we have learned how to process data for the public good quicker, more efficiently and more responsibly. Now we need to capitalise on those valuable lessons. Today we are launching a new forum to support delivery of our National Data Strategy and help us become the world’s number one data destination - boosting growth and creating jobs while maintaining high standards of data protection and governance.”

The DMA will continue to work with the UK Government and ICO on delivery of these proposals. Any member comments on the proposals should be sent to John Mitchison and Michael Sturrock.

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