Information governance

The communication to the Commission on "Data, information and knowledge management at the European Commission” recognises the strategic use of data, information and knowledge as a key element for improving the current way of working in the Commission, emphasising teamwork, overcoming silo mentalities, and harnessing synergies between portfolios. In accordance with the EC strategy, and in a larger context, European Union Institutions and public administrations in the EU show a high interest in learning and sharing good practices on information governance and management, seeking to increase the value of their own information assets.

Within an organisation, information governance sits on top of information management practices to ensure optimal use of information. It defines roles and responsibilities for information management, and it deals with information quality, security, data architecture, etc. It enforces its principles and practices through rules and procedures formulated as policies. Good information governance is based on fundamental principles, such as “information is a valuable asset”.

Successful information governance can happen only with active support from the organisation’s highest executive level as it can touch upon many functional aspects within one organisation. SEMIC helps public administrations to put in place information governance, covering, among others:

  • Mandate for information governance – provides information on the importance of formalising policies and communicating the authority which is given through a mandate by the executive level for the implementation of information governance.
  • Information governance principles – when applied, the principles account for a solid foundation on which the implementation of information governance becomes effective. 
  • Roles and responsibilities – describes the decision-making mechanisms, and the responsibilities of staff performing the day to day activities.
  • Reference, metadata and master data management – describes how appropriate management of reference data, metadata and master data management contributes to achieving higher information quality, lower costs and complexity due to reuse of information, and support of interoperability to facilitate the exchange of information.
  • Information quality management – describes information quality requirements, dimensions, and quality management processes.
  • Information security – describes standards, policies and procedures to ensure that the right people use information in the right way, and inappropriate access and use of information is prevented. This section also describes potential risks which organisations can face in case of use of information.
  • Raising awareness, training and communication – describes how effective communication can support a successful implementation of information governance.
  • Supporting tools – tools which support the implementation of information governance, e.g.:
    • Business glossary
    • Information asset inventory
    • Information quality dashboard