Headlines: May 14th, 2001

Another milestone has been reached in getting information from public bodies flowing more freely.The e-Government Metadata framework (e-GMF) has been published – setting new standardised labels for types of information – so that it can be found by people who do not necessarily know which department’s website to browse to look for it.

By standardising the labelling of information – or ‘tagging’ it – a search for a word such as ”benefit” will be limited to a realistic spread of possibilities, rather than thousands of irrelevant hits. It will also lead to increased standardisation of record keeping, improving efficiency by making official documents easier to manage.

The e-GMF was drawn up following extensive consultation with government departments and agencies, and open consultation with industry and the public via the UK GovTalk website. A Working Group of the Information Age Government Champions, led by the Office of the e-Envoy, was responsible for ensuring the needs of all organisations were taken into account, and that the policy was based on international standards and practices. The e-GMF, is mandated for all intradepartmental and outward facing information systems.

Whilst other countries, notably Australia, also have Metadata policies in place none are said to be as ambitious or far-reaching as the e-GMF now set down in the UK.

Link: www.GovTalk.gov.uk