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Terms of reference: the Data and Digital Standards Community of Practice

Terms of reference: Data and Digital Standards Community of Practice [PDF 348 KB]

Contents

Purpose of the Terms of Reference

This Terms of Reference sets out the roles, responsibilities, and operation for the Data and Digital Standards Community of Practice (CoP).

Vision

A community with data and digital standards focus fostering innovation in the New Zealand public sector.

Purpose

The CoP is focussed on learning, collaborating, promoting, and championing in order to align good data and digital standards practices across the New Zealand Public Service and involving other stakeholders that support the Public Service. The CoP will provide a platform for sharing of information, experience and practice in relation to data and digital standards-related matters. The aim being to maximise an effective and efficient use of data and digital standards in achieving the outcomes of the Strategy for a Digital Public Service and the Data Strategy and Roadmap For New Zealand.

Strategy for a Digital Public Service
Data Strategy and Roadmap for New Zealand

This CoP supersedes the previous “Data Content Standards CoP” and widens it to include the Digital Standards.

Across government we want to use data and digital technology/standards more efficiently and effectively to make better choices and provide quick, effortless, and smart services to New Zealanders. Standards play a key part in the Strategy for a Digital Public Service (see ‘Digital Standards and Practices’ under the focus area ‘New ways of working’ and ‘It’s a collective journey’) and the Data Strategy and Roadmap For New Zealand.

Principles of the Data and Digital Standards Community of Practice

See Appendix A for details of each principle.

Appendix A

  1. Honouring Crown-Māori relationship.
  2. Remaining aligned with the Strategy for a Digital Public Service and the Data Strategy and Roadmap For New Zealand.
  3. Considering international first.
  4. Considering diversity and inclusion.
  5. Learning from experience.
  6. Promoting a coherent and quality data and digital capability across public sector in timely manner through collaboration.
  7. Adding value for members of the CoP.
  8. Focusing on benefits and challenges to the benefits that the CoP can deliver.
  9. Envisioning and communicating a better future clearly and in a planned manner.
  10. Promoting change to improve data and digital maturity of public service.

Objectives

The objectives of the Data and Digital Standards CoP are:

  • To provide a forum for sharing of knowledge about data and digital standards to improve performance of public sector organisations. The CoP can help generate and manage a body of knowledge for members to draw on.
  • To raise awareness of data and digital standards initiatives across the public service.
  • To support each other and encourage collaboration on the use of data and digital standards resulting in uncovering of solutions to the problems and learn best practices from the peers.
  • To enable joined up action that supports cohesive and effective data and digital standards by setting up relevant sub-groups. This could happen by learning and capturing lessons from best practice, issues, opportunities, and risks to help improve data and digital standards.
  • To promote standardisation of practice using data and digital standards.
  • To innovate and create new ideas, knowledge, and practices.
  • To run or participate in knowledge-building programs, such as seminars, conference, symposiums and forums.
  • To identify, co-opt and support cross-government leadership and expertise in specific data and digital standards areas, such as business/e-commerce, geospatial, natural resources, identity, and health.
  • To educate and guide the public service leadership with respect to data and digital standards. The focus here will be on scope and context of standards and how they are properly used.
  • To encourage agencies to participate in the NZ’s contributions and engagements with relevant international standards bodies and communities – ISO/IEC, OASIS, W3C, IETF, schema.org. This means that the CoP supports getting the “New Zealand voice” (including Te Ao Māori) into international stage can ensure that we can adopt internation.

Membership

Membership of the CoP is open to all staff across the New Zealand Public Service and involving other stakeholders that support the Public Service. The only requirement is that people have an interest in data and digital standards. However, if confidential and sensitive matters are discussed, then only members who are bound by any form confidentiality deed/arrangement will be involved in such forums.

A member is anyone who expresses a wish to be added to the contact list for the CoP and accepts the Terms of Reference, though it is expected that they will have some role/background in data and/or digital.

Any member may volunteer to be on the Organising Committee and the Chair will be from either Standards New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand or the Digital Public Service Branch at the Department of Internal Affairs. The Chair will manage the meeting.

Roles and responsibilities

Organising committee

Statistics New Zealand, the Digital Public Service Branch / the Department of Internal Affairs along with Standards New Zealand will collaborate to make up most of the Organising Committee. The Organising Committee will be made up of 4 to 6 people, including a member who represents the Māori interests, and another member that represents standards user community. The Organising Committee would meet, as required, to undertake the organisation and scheduling of CoP meetings and set the agendas. Refer to Appendix B for detailed responsibilities of the Organising Committee.

Appendix B

Chair

The Chair will be from either Standards New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand or the Digital Public Service Branch at the Department of Internal Affairs. The Chair must be a member of the Organising Committee. Refer to Appendix B for detailed responsibilities of the Chair.

CoP Members

Members are expected to remember the primary purpose of the CoP. Members should be prepared to contribute their knowledge and expertise to help others. Refer to Appendix B for detailed responsibilities of the CoP Member.

Meetings

The CoP will meet approximately every 3 months, for a minimum of two hours. Additional meetings will be scheduled based on members’ interest and availability of resources. The length of the meeting will depend on the time need to cover the topics scheduled. Working Groups may meet more often as needed.

Teleconferencing will be provided where possible so that people outside of Wellington can participate.

Agendas will be developed by the Organising Committee with input from members, and may include updates on current initiatives, presentations on topics of interest, and general open discussions.

Organising Committee

Venues and refreshments will vary depending on availability.

Scope

The community of practice is:

  • a place to seek advice
  • a place to learn
  • a place to share and connect
  • a safe place - all questions and viewpoints are welcome 
  • a place to honour and progress the Crown-Māori relationship.

The community of practice is not:

  • a place to get approval or formally consult
  • a place to lecture
  • for the sale or promotion of vender products.

Appendix

Appendix A: Principles of the Data and Digital Standards Community of Practice

Honouring Crown- Māori relationship

New Zealand constitutional arrangements are the foundation of Māori Crown relations (Te Arawhiti). Strong relationships will support improved outcomes for and with Māori across a range of social, economic, environmental and cultural policy areas.

Rationale

Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) places an obligation on the Crown to engage with the Māori by applying the principles of partnership, participation and protection. These principles are derived from the underlying tenets of the Treaty. Data and digital standards play a big role in meeting the Crown obligation under the Treaty (Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko (Digital Inclusion blueprint) and Data is a Taonga (A customary Māori perspective).

Consideration

Focus should always be fostering the Māori Crown relationship via the work that the CoP will undertake.

Assessment guidance
  • Does the CoP undertake an active role to have members on the CoP that represents Māori?
  • Are Māori issues, concerns, risks, suggestions, opportunities equally considered by the CoP?
  • Are members representing Māori view on the steering group of the CoP?
  • Does the CoP adequately engage with Māori as part of its work?

Remaining aligned with the Strategy for a Digital Public Service and the Data Strategy and Roadmap For New Zealand

Strategic drivers should determine and govern the work of this CoP.

Rationale

The CoP has been set up to achieve outcomes of the Strategy for a Digital Public Service and the Data Strategy and Roadmap For New Zealand. The CoP may provide to GCDO and GCDS advice on the effectiveness of these strategies.

Consideration

Strategic plans can change over time. The CoP should be agile and adaptive to such changes.

Assessment guidance
  • Are the outcomes of the strategies observed?
  • Is the CoP being flexible to changing strategic environment?
  • Does activities of the CoP prove or disprove strategic ideas?

Considering international first

The CoP will encourage use of standards that are internationally accepted (by users that represent more than one jurisdiction). Refer to Clause 13(4)(b) of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 for general context.

Clause 13(4)(b)

Rationale

International standards usually represent a wide consensus from a broad range of contributors, and therefore often have higher levels of acceptance and adoption. Vendors and suppliers of software, infrastructure and cloud services focus on implementing the most widely adopted applicable standards, and a local NZ standard is unlikely to be considered for that.

Consideration

Some international standards can take considerable time to be developed, reviewed and approved. Combined with a consensus-based approach taking expert contributions from across the world can have the effect of creating standards that lack innovation and do not represent the most up-to-date thinking. Some international standards may also contain requirements that do not work in the New Zealand context, this may be able to be resolved with the development of a NZ profile.

Assessment guidance
  • Is the standard accepted by multiple countries, a regional set of countries or an international sector?
  • How well does it apply to the New Zealand context?
  • Does it have, or require, a NZ profile?

Considering diversity and inclusion

In line with the State Services Commissions vision on diversity and inclusion, the CoP will ensure that it builds and responds to an increasingly diverse and inclusive New Zealand.

Public Service Commission's vision on diversity and inclusion

Rationale

The approach to diversity and inclusion offers opportunities for greater productivity, customer centricity and innovation.

Consideration

While diversity and inclusion should be the part of the way the CoP operates, it should not in any way impact on any one group, gender, ethnicity.

Assessment guidance
  • Does the CoP undertake an active role to promote and incorporate diversity and inclusion?
  • Is diversity and inclusion visible?
  • Are barriers actively being removed for diverse members of the CoP to make it more inclusive?

Learning from experience

The CoP will learn from the experiences of its members, lessons will be sought, recorded and acted upon.

Rationale

Learning and lessons provide opportunities to implement improvements. Such improvements add value and increases effectiveness and efficiency.

Consideration

A system should be in place to actively capture lessons and to properly act on it to create an improvement.

Assessment guidance
  • Is the CoP and members learning from the experience?
  • Are the issues and risks being adequately managed?
  • Are there residual risks?
  • Does the lesson help create a better outcome?

Promoting a coherent and quality data and digital capability across public sector in timely manner through collaboration

Rationale

Through a focus on an all of public sector collaboration approach, the CoP will, through promotion, help catalyse an incremental data and digital capability improvements.

Consideration

The CoP should be mindful of the changing regulatory and strategic environment in New Zealand and with its partners and make adjustment to remain aligned with strategies of that govern the work in data and digital space. Where the work of the CoP contradicts with any other New Zealand Government strategic initiatives, the CoP will learn and potentially provide advice.

Assessment guidance
  • Is there an improvement with the data and digital capability across public sector in timely manner?
  • Are public sector (and private sector) agencies collaborating?
  • Are agencies able to progress in creating a coherent and quality data and digital capability across public sector in timely manner through collaboration with minimal operational impact?
  • Do the improved capabilities support other principles?

Adding value for members of the CoP

The efforts of the CoP adds value to the members by exceeding the benefits provided by the straightforward sum of their constituent efforts of the individuals.

Rationale

The CoP should aim to realise benefits in addition to and above the individual agency effort. The CoP will add value by identifying and helping achieve these additional benefits and the added value for agencies.

Consideration

The initiative of the CoP should not duplicate or re-invent already good practice within the agencies. The aim should be to integrate good ways of working and add value by realising even greater benefits across the public sector. The CoP is not enforcing the Centre views but working collaboratively with all members of the CoP for the betterment of the system as a whole.

Assessment guidance

  • Is the CoP realising more benefits than the individual agency efforts?
  • Is the CoP not adding disbenefits by its initiatives?
  • Are the agencies seeing value from the activities of the CoP?
  • Is the CoP making difference for Maori?
  • Is diversity and inclusivity evident?

Focusing on benefits and threats to the benefits that the CoP can deliver

Rationale

The CoP needs to focus on the driving strategic objectives by achieving their desired outcomes and delivering the resulting benefits to the agencies. Benefits must be relevant to the strategic context of the agencies to add value.

Consideration

All activities of the CoP should be geared to achieve strategic outcomes and resulting benefits. There needs to be a way to measure success in realising the benefits. Operational, tactical and strategic risks that impact the realisation of the benefits should be managed appropriately. The organising committee will be responsible for defining outcomes and benefits and aligning these to the relevant strategies.

Assessment guidance
  • Are the outcomes being realised?
  • Are the benefits being realised?
  • Is the impact of the risks to benefits managed?
  • Is the value evident?
  • Are Māori receiving equitable benefits?

Envisioning and communicating a better future clearly and in a planned manner

Rationale

Vision is a picture of a better future and it is the outward-facing description of the future state. It is the basis for the outcomes and benefits to be delivered. Hence, a vision and communication around it sets the foundation to achieve outcomes and benefits and add value.

Consideration

A clear and well-defined vision of the desired future state needs to be in place early and refined as necessary over time. There should be an effective communication on vision to stakeholders as well as and ensuring that the vision stays aligned with relevant and appropriate strategies.

Assessment guidance
  • Is the vision clear?
  • Do stakeholders and members of CoP have a good understanding of the vision?
  • Is there a planned review of vision?
  • Does the vision support Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi)?

Promoting change to improve data and digital maturity of public service

Rationale

A well planned change will result in the improvement of the data and digital maturity of public service. Improved maturity will be the basis to realise outcomes, benefits and value.

Consideration

The CoP shows leadership by eengaging with stakeholders to promote change through a combination of consistency and transparency. Changes should create advantage, minimise risk, and sustain performance.

Assessment guidance
  • Are the outcomes being realised?
  • Are the benefits being realised?
  • Is the impact of the risks to benefits managed?
  • Is the value evident?
  • Are Māori receiving equitable benefits?

Appendix B: Roles and responsibilities

Organising Committee

Statistics New Zealand, the Digital Public Service Branch/the Department of Internal Affairs along with Standards New Zealand will collaborate to make up most of the Organising Committee. The Organising Committee will be made up of 4 to 6 people who meet, as required, to undertake the organisation and scheduling of CoP meetings and set the agendas.

The responsibilities of the Organising Committee are to:

  • arrange the meeting events, including time, date, venue, equipment
  • schedule relevant topics and guest speakers based on input by meeting attendees
  • ensure that the agendas and other relevant papers are distributed in a timely manner
  • ensure any late changes to the agenda are notified to the Chair
  • maintain and manage the membership list
  • establish relationship and align with Government Digital Leadership group (GDLG)
  • manage differences and disputes in line with accepted public sector practice
  • provide capability and capacity to carry out the activities of the CoP
  • get sponsors to fund the activities of the CoP
  • maintain relevant and appropriate plans (quality, risks, issues, change, and engagement) where and when needed
  • focus on defining the outcomes and benefits that are aligned to relevant strategic drivers
  • establish working groups that can help promote specific interest(s) of the CoP.

Chair

The Chair will be from either Standards New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand or the Digital Public Service Branch at the Department of Internal Affairs. The Chair must be a member of the Organising Committee.

It is the Chair’s responsibility to:

  • facilitate and control the meeting
  • welcome guests and introduce speakers
  • ensure that the meeting runs to agenda
  • ensure attendees and members are aware of their responsibilities under the Terms of Reference.

CoP members

Members are expected to remember the primary purpose of the CoP. Members should be prepared to contribute their knowledge and expertise to help others.

Where confidentiality is required issues should be discussed at a generic or concept level, without reference to specific person/s.

Members may express either their own perspective, or their organisations, within meetings, however they should identify within which context they are speaking.

The CoP is not to be used as a vehicle for the sale or promotion of vender products. This does not preclude the discussion of a product’s capability, relevant to data and digital issue, or a presentation topic including a product where explicitly requested by the membership.

Failure to meet these responsibilities may result in exclusion from the CoP.

Appendix C: Definition of Community of Practice

Community of practice

A group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Data

Data are characteristics or information, usually numerical, that are collected through observation. It is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables about one or more persons or objects.

Data standards

Data standards are the rules by which data are described and recorded. In order to share, exchange, and understand data, we must standardize the format as well as the meaning.

Digital

Digital is about more than new technologies and improving IT systems. It also means doing things differently using new mindsets, skills, data and technologies to overcome barriers and better meet New Zealand’s needs.

Digital standards

Digital standards help agencies to follow the same standards and frameworks. It sets a guideline to agree and implement processes for common business processes such as finance, HR and payroll functions to reduce unnecessary difference when operating across different agencies.

Standards

Standards provide agreed specifications for products, processes, services, or performance. The technical information in standards is usually developed through a robust and transparent process that includes consultation with public or key stakeholders. Every day, standards and standardisation make a difference in the lives of New Zealanders. Standards solutions help to keep our homes, public buildings, playgrounds, electrical appliances, and health services safe. They can also be used to protect people and our environment and to increase productivity and drive innovation.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email datalead@stats.govt.nz.

Content last reviewed 20 January 2021.

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