[wdmmg-discuss] Where are the Government Departments?
kathryn.corrick at googlemail.com
Sun Aug 15 08:22:37 BST 2010
I think Hadley Beeman is working on this area too and working on joining the
dots, I've cc'd her in.
On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 2:40 AM, Alistair Turnbull <
apt1002 at goose.minworks.co.uk> wrote:
> Here are two poorly researched ideas about Government departments:
> 1. I spoke to Chris Taggart about coding up departments when I met him at
> OK Con. He seems to have a pretty clear picture of the prior work in this
> area, and all its deficiencies. More importantly, he said he has invented a
> coding system for his own use, and he encouraged us to use it. I never
> followed this up in the end, but it might be an avenue worth exploring.
> 2. Last time I checked, we were quite close to having a decent list of all
> the Programme Objects. These are organised into a hierarchy. The next
> coursest level is Programme Object Groups, which appear in the CRA. After
> that there is at least one more level, and then the top level is the
> department that allocated the code, as I understand it. If so, then you
> might be able to get a usable de facto coding system out of it. Compared to
> other coding systems, it would have the advantage that any department that
> allocates PO codes will have an incentive to maintain it. I bet it therefore
> somehow copes with the historical awkwardness you describe below.
> I could be completely wrong. :-)
> On Sat, 14 Aug 2010, William Waites wrote:
> I'm having a look at making an SDMX/RDF representation
>> of the Country and Regional Analysis, one of the main datasets
>> behind the Where Does My Money Go project.
>> One of the dimensions is government department, and it would
>> be nice to be able to link to the canonical concept scheme. I
>> believe there was some work going on on this back in the spring
>> and I wonder what has become of it.
>> Looking at the most recent dump in  there seem to be a
>> number of problems:
>> * There is no schema. There is a suggestion of a concept
>> scheme but  gives a 404
>> * none of the URIs dereference, it appears not to have been
>> loaded into the Talis endpoints
>> * The data doesn't include historical (even recent) departments.
>> For example, the Department for Innovation, Universities and
>> Skills was merged into the Department for Business, Innovation
>> and Skills relatively recently and appears in Treasury
>> documents covering the period of interest.
>> * Related to the last, there is no mention of a creation and
>> winding up date for the departments, nor any notion of
>> predecessors and successors.
>> * Currently extant departments, for example HM Revenue and
>> Customs do not exist (thought that one is mentioned in the
>> comment for the attorney general).
>> There was a bunch of very good work done back in January
>> and February by Stuart Williams that addressed most of these
>> problems. I can see the data on the Basecamp. The dumps on
>> source.data.gov.uk seem to have removed a lot of information.
>> There was a schema, date and lineage linkage, all of that.
>> Stuart's that data wasn't necessarily perfect, it collated information
>> from a large number of sources. But was is far better than what we
>> have which is more or less nothing. Errors can be corrected but
>> they'll be much more easily discovered if the information is open
>> to inspection and use.
>> It's an iterative process, even for the government. In this particular
>> case, we discovered that there is actually no centrally held canonical
>> list of public bodies, this is one of the reasons that Stuart's work
>> was so difficult and valuable. Simply admitting this and putting
>> a caveat that for this reason the data may contain errors and is
>> subject to revision would be a lot better than waiting until it is
>> perfect to publish the data.
>> To practical questions: can I use this unpublished data? Can I
>> publish it and make it available in my SPARQL endpoints
>> which are obviously not run by *.gov.uk?
>>  http://source.data.gov.uk/data/reference/ministerial-departments/
>>  http://reference.data.gov.uk/def/public-body/Department
>> William Waites <wwaites at gmail.com>
>> Mob: +44 789 798 9965
>> Fax: +44 131 464 4948
>> wdmmg-discuss mailing list
>> wdmmg-discuss at lists.okfn.org
> wdmmg-discuss mailing list
> wdmmg-discuss at lists.okfn.org
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