Information sharing is a tricky business

Damion Nickerson profile

Damion Nickerson, Engagement Manager
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

It’s been a busy time at The Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing, as we have been working with a new partner the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) and investigating their information sharing challenge. It’s always interesting to look at new pieces of work and draw on comparisons and personal situations that affect something or someone that you know from personal experience.

Two weeks ago I had a conversation with my mum, who owns a local tea room. We were chatting about a conversation she’d had recently with her local authority, regarding services around her business and the health and safety paperwork she’d had to complete. She complained that she felt like she was answering the same questions again and again and that nobody shared any information.

My mum wasn’t telling me because she thought I could help (in her mind I could be one of my brothers and she doesn’t really know what any of us do!) – she was saying it because it was a genuine frustration in her working life. I was interested because I am supporting my colleague Anita Saigal on the Centre’s work with the BRDO to overcome cultural barriers to information sharing

We support the BRDO’s view that information sharing is a crucial component to ensuring the better delivery of service, and understanding what limits the regulatory bodies in doing this is the key to that improvement. That’s why on Friday the 26th of February we will be delivering a workshop with colleagues from the business regulatory community with a focus on supporting business improvement and economic growth, and ensuring that enforcement activity is efficient – via improved information sharing.

We will be working with regulators on the day to identify the barriers to information sharing, share good practice and learning from different areas. The day will have with input from national stakeholders with the aim of encouraging national and local regulators to engage in this work.

Attendees include representatives from local regulatory teams across the country as well as DEFRA, HMRC, Gambling Commission, Food Standards Agency, and the Environment Agency amongst others. We will be running the interactive workshop, using our composite case study ‘The Sharetown 24hr Bakery & Off Licence’ as a focus to draw out:

  • The information they would like to collect
  • The information they would like to share locally and with whom
  • The information they are asked to share
  • The barriers they face in sharing.

In preparation for this event, we have had really interesting conversations with local and national regulators around the issue of ‘the culture of information sharing and the barriers to sharing information’ to help inform the scope of the workshop and inform some our initial findings.

I personally am looking forward to revealing our case study and watching the collective work through some of the issues presented to them and hearing their possible solutions and suggestions in this area of work, an added bonus will be the engaging and informed conversation I can have with my mum about my work, ‘a conversation that I’ve been wanting to have for a while!’

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