• Electronic Multi-agency Collaboration. A Model for Sharing Children¿s Personal Information Among Organisations.

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Cullen, Andrea J.; Louws, Margie (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics and Media, 2013-11-21)
      The sharing of personal information among health and social service organisations is a complex issue and problematic process in present-day England. Organisations which provide services to children face enormous challenges on many fronts. Internal ways of working, evolving best practice, data protection applications, government mandates and new government agencies, rapid changes in technology, and increasing costs are but a few of the challenges with which organisations must contend in order to provide services to children while keeping in step with change. This thesis is an exploration into the process of sharing personal information in the context of public sector reforms. Because there is an increasing emphasis of multi-agency collaboration, this thesis examines the information sharing processes both within and among organisations, particularly those providing services to children. From the broad principles which comprise a socio-technical approach of information sharing, distinct critical factors for successful information sharing and best practices are identified. These critical success factors are then used to evaluate the emerging national database, ContactPoint, highlighting particular areas of concern. In addition, data protection and related issues in the information sharing process are addressed. It is argued that one of the main factors which would support effective information sharing is to add a timeline to the life of a dataset containing personal information, after which the shared information would dissolve. Therefore, this thesis introduces Dynamic Multi-Agency Collaboration (DMAC), a theoretical model of effective information sharing using a limited-life dataset. The limited life of the DMAC dataset gives more control to information providers, encouraging effective information sharing within the parameters of the Data Protection Act 1998.