Government endorses NIC recommendations on data infrastructure

The Government have endorsed recommendations made in the Data for Public Good report, published by the National Infrastructure Commission.

The Government has endorsed recommendations made to help the UK construction industry become better digitally connected.

The endorsement, from HM Treasury, is in response to the report Data for the Public Good, published by the National infrastructure Commission (NIC) earlier this year.

In its response, the Government said it agrees that greater data sharing has the potential to further modernise our construction industry, improve the productivity of our infrastructure and support the UK’s digital economy. The Government also said it recognises “the opportunity to support the next wave of data sharing and digitisation across our infrastructure networks”, and said the approach set out in its response will give a roadmap for delivering an ambitious programme to best maximise data value for UK infrastructure.

In its recommendations, the report suggested the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) should lead on industry engagement, and work with relevant government departments and regulators to help formulate a comprehensive digital transformation strategy for the industry.

Dale Evans, Chair of the ICG, said he welcomed the Government’s endorsement of the report, and support for three of the recommendations.

“It is clear that ‘digital’ offers real and significant opportunities to transform infrastructure performance, improving both the delivery of new assets and the performance of existing ones to deliver better outcomes for the ultimate customers.

“As the largest body of infrastructure clients in the UK, the ICG recognises its responsibility to provide leadership in the digital transformation of our sector. To that end, we have created a Digital Transformation Task Group, made up of representatives from all ICG organisations, which will work with the Digital Framework Task Group and lead on the implementation of this important agenda.”

The NIC’s report highlights the significant potential value of data, machine learning and artificial intelligence across our infrastructure assets. It found that “data is part of infrastructure and needs maintenance in the same way that physical infrastructure needs maintenance”. The ICG, and Institution of Civil Engineers, also recognise the importance of data as infrastructure.

The ICG’s Digital Transformation Task Group recently published its first digital benchmarking report, assessing the readiness for change of the industry. ‘Ripe for transformation, ready for change?’ provides a snapshot of the UK infrastructure industry - focusing on the infrastructure owners in energy, transport and water sectors - to help inform the development of a national digital transformation strategy.

The NIC’s Data for the Public Good report is available on their website.
The full response from the Government is available on the Treasury website.