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Disclosure of Information: Public Bodies

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what work or research is being undertaken or has been commissioned by his (a) Department and (b) its agencies in relation to the development of XML Schema to facilitate sharing of information between public authorities. (176582)

When developing new IT systems, DEFRA (through IBM, the service supplier) conforms with Cabinet Office UK GovTalk XML schema standards.

DEFRA has adopted a “Service Oriented Architecture” (SOA) which involves the build up of a library of XML schemas derived from DEFRA’s Common Data Model to control the structured message handling of services. This technical strategy enables data sharing among users of these services which can include internal customers, Other Government Departments, NDPBs, local authorities and industry bodies.

This architecture is being utilised by the DEFRA Agency AnimalHealth in developing IT for its Business Reform Programme and is available to all other DEFRA Agencies.