What is the idea behind the Standards Hub website?
We want to adopt software interoperability, data and document format standards that connect government departments and make it easier for you to access or work with the Government. We want to make sure that the standards adoption process itself is open and transparent, and we also want to harness a wide pool of expertise to help provide recommendations for standards adoption throughout government departments. Therefore this site acts as the “front door” through which you can get involved.
What is a Challenge?
A key concept in the process of selecting our open standards is the idea of a “challenge”. This is a user or a service need, identified as a priority, where we believe open standards could make a difference. By proposing a challenge, we are seeking your help to understand where open standards can be used to help solve a challenge. Challenges are time-bounded so we can focus a concentrated burst of activity on solving a specific problem. You can read the current list of challenges and then register on the site to respond with your ideas. From ideas we get through the Standards Hub, we'll develop proposals for how the challenge could be solved and investigate then to see which might work best; we'll keep you involved throughout.
What can I do on the site?
We envisage that you may wish to use the site in a number of different ways.
- You may want to make a suggestion for a challenge for us to focus on, or respond with ideas on how we might solve a challenge we're working on.
- You may want to help us to develop a proposal by getting involved in a discussion.
- You may want to track the progress of a particular standard through the process.
- You may want to find out which interoperability, data or document format standards the Government has adopted and for what purposes.
We want to make the site as useful as possible, and are interested to hear if it meets your needs. Please contact us if you have a comment on the site.
What happens to my contributions after they are submitted?
Your comments and submissions are likely to be moderated before they appear on the site. We will aim to do this within one working dat of your submitting them. See the Terms and Conditions for more information on moderation.
What is the Standards Pipeline?
The pipeline is made up of a series of proposals that are being worked on as they progress through the process. If you are interested in following what is going on, you can view the pipeline of in-progress standards, read the draft documentation and discussions, and contribute by commenting.
How do I know which standards to use?
When open standards have been adopted, you can browse through them in the standards catalogue. If an open standard hasn't been set then refer to the Open Standards Principles (PDF) for more details.
What is the definition of an “open standard”?
Open standards for software interoperability, data and document formats, which exhibit all of the following criteria, are considered consistent with our policy:
Collaboration - the standard is maintained through a colloborative decision-making process that is consensus based and independent of any individual supplier. Involvement in the development and maintenance of the standard is accessible to all interested parties.
Transparency - the decision-making process is transpareetn and a publicly accessible review by subject matter experts in part of the process.
Due process - the standard is adopted by a specification or standardisation organisation, or a forum or consortium with a feedback and ratification process to ensure quality.
Fair access - the standard is published, thoroughly documented and publicly available at sero or low cost.
Market support - other than in the context of creating innovative solutions, the standard is mature, supported by the market and demonstrates platform, application and vendor independence.
Rights - rights essential to the implementation of the standard, and for interfacing with other implementations which have adopted that same standard, are licensed on a royality free basis that is compatible with both open source and proprietary licence solutions, These rights should irrevocable unless there is a breach of licence conditions.
Does this site replace existing standards websites and processes run by government departments?
No. This site does not replace the existing standards development and adoption processes within individual government departments. Each department remains responsible for applying standards within the context of its own business, and furthermore there will always be a role for specialised standards that are only relevant to an individual government department. Rather this site provides a forum for agreeing the core set of essential standards that are generally applicable across the Government's common IT platform.
Why is the Government setting IT standards?
Government must be better connected to the people it serves and partners who can work with it - especially small businesses, voluntary and community organisations. We need to organise the Government's data and software using an agreed set of standards that make our IT more open, cheaper and better connected. To do this, we need to agree on the challenges to focus on and the standards to adopt. See the Open Standards Principles (PDF) for more details.
How do I suggest an improvement or report a bug?
We welcome your feedback, contact us to tell us what you think.
Have a question that is not answered here? Contact us.