They may all come under the same governmental banner, but ask anyone that's had an issue that requires inter-departmental communication and it'll quickly become clear that the government's left hand rarely knows what the right is doing. A large part of that problem is down to the fractured nature of departmental databases, many running differing, incompatible systems.
The cabinet's data sharing policy team is looking to rectify that, proposing that all UK citizen data be rolled into a single central database. This would contain not just information held by government departments, but potentially even data held by schools and emergency services too. It's hoped that such a database would allow the government to more efficiently handle money sent to benefits claimants by speeding up the flow of relevant information between departments. It may also make for an easier time for those that owe the government money, with departments able to communicate an individual's multiple debts to each other more clearly, and figure out a payment plan that meets a citizen's means.
Draft legislation is expected to be published later this year, and could be introduced following the next election should the Conservative party win a majority. [Telegraph]