The UK Digital Economy Act received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. Part 5 of the new Act introduces new information sharing provisions to support more efficient and effective public services.
The Digital Economy Act 2017 allows the UK Government, as well as the devolved governments, in certain cases, to specify additional objectives for which data can be shared, and to name the individuals and organisations that can make use of the data sharing powers the Act provides.
Part 5 of the Act then regulates what data can be shared and for which purposes. It also includes safeguards to make sure that the privacy of citizens’ data is protected. The UK Government has recently consulted on draft regulations.
The consultation set out four specific objectives for which data would be able to be shared under the public service delivery provisions and which specific, non-devolved bodies are able to use these powers for the objectives specified.
We would like public bodies in Scotland, where this is appropriate and safe, to be able to make use of the new data sharing powers set out in Part 5 of the Act for the purposes of public services delivery. For the objectives specified in the draft Regulations which the UK Government consulted on, this would allow data to be shared between specified bodies.