"A £154m government IT project intended to manage EU subsidy payments to farmers has been abandoned due to problems with the system's online mapping tool and its lack of reliable integration with a number of disparate back-end systems." according to an article in Computing.
Lets look at things at a local level. Cornwall Council was formed from the amalgamation of the 6 district councils and Cornwall County Council in 2009. Since then, Cornwall Council has not been able to combine the different Local Land Charges systems of the old local authorities into one standard system.
What then are the chances of the Land Registry, who have no experience of Local Land Charges, being able to create a computer system to enable them to centralise Local Land Charges data from 370 different local authority systems? Especially as many local authority Local Land Charges departments still use paper maps and record cards.
There is a great deal of unease within Local Land Charges departments and the legal profession about this. The greatest fear is that the current system will be partially dismantled to satisfy the desire for centralisation but, if the new system fails, it will leave a vacuum where data will be lost and information vital to the UK's property sector will be compromised.
I believe standardisation of public sector data is an excellent idea, but instead of using a department with no experience of the subject to reinvent from the top down, why not invest in the talent at the grass roots level and give the local authorities the funding and guidance needed to improve and standardise their Local Land Charges processes and systems and then let them work with the Land Registry to produce centralised data access?
Still, it's always more fun and sexier driving a big IT project than examining and improving the basic functions and processes of a department.
Read the full Computing article here