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Machinery of Government Changes

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 29 March 2018

This written statement confirms that the data policy and governance functions of the Government Digital Service (GDS) will transfer from the Cabinet Office to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The transfer includes responsibility for data sharing (including co-ordination of part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017), data ethics, open data and data governance. At the same time policy responsibility for digital signatures will move from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to DCMS, which will also jointly lead with BEIS on the relationship with the Open Data Institute, Digital Catapult and the Alan Turing Institute.

These changes will be effective from 1 April. The expanded Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport brings together in one place data policy for both government and the wider economy. This will support work, led by DCMS, to ensure the UK is fully realising the benefits of the data economy for all.

GDS will continue its work supporting the ongoing digital transformation of government, building digital capability in the civil service and championing service design across government to meet user needs.

Further to the Budget announcement last autumn, strategic geospatial data policy initiatives from BEIS and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are being consolidated into the Cabinet Office from 1 April to support the work of the Geospatial Commission.