The National Information Infrastructure prototype document
In September this year we launched a series of workshops to seek views on the next stage of development for the National Information Infrastructure. Three workshops were held at the TechUK premises with over 95 attendees ranging from small businesses, to large enterprises, civil society and government representatives.
We are conducting this process as an example of open policy and following the tried and tested approach of discovery/prototype/alpha/beta - and always with user needs at heart.
While we detailed the top level outcomes from the workshops via our online blogs (http://data.gov.uk/blog/revisiting-national-information-infrastructure-w...), we also agreed at the workshops that we would invite a subset of those attending to help us develop a prototype document that encapsulated the outputs of the workhops, while also addressing the needs of the user.
We have now completed that prototype document and as agreed, we are opening it up for comment on data.gov.uk. The document does not contain extensive detail on the ‘soft’ aspects of the NII such as vision and context. It concentrates, however, on capturing the delivery mechanisms and conditions for inclusion as they emerged from the workshops, and as such is a comparatively short document.
The NII, as is clear from the document, moves from just a list of important datasets to a framework that “...lists strategically important data and documents the services that provide access to the data and connect it to other data" while also providing "information on relevant policies, standards and guidance, as well as definitions, all of which help govern and deliver the data and services."
We envision the resulting NII document will contain a core deliverable set of conditions and a series of technical annexes that inform the different areas of concern for the NII. This should make it easier to update standards and technical details without necessarily altering the core message, ensuring that it is reliable and protected, while remaining flexible enough to evolve with the times.
We aim to keep the facility for the public to comment on the document open until the the 2nd of February. We will then take into account your views to construct our formal proposition. There will be several small projects developing technical annexes that will surface during February and March which we will conduct using the same open approach. You will find information about them here on data.gov.uk.
We will develop a timeline in February so you can both keep abreast of the pace and progress of the NII and get a sense of what implementation will look like. We are still working out the details in this regard.
Taking into account that this is a prototype document coming out of a discovery phase, and based on what the workshops and experts consulted felt the NII should be, please let us know your views so we can better inform our next steps.