Digital Economy Act 2017 (part 5) codes of practice published

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced in mid-July 2018 that the codes of practice associated with Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 had been published today on GOV.UK thereby making the information sharing powers in Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 fully operational.

They can be found here:

These information sharing powers enable data to be shared more easily to help public authorities to deliver their responsibilities more effectively and deliver better outcomes for citizens. They enable the sharing of data between specified persons for specific purposes:

  • Improving public service delivery
  • Enabling information on births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths to be shared more widely to allow public authorities to deliver their functions more effectively.
  • Combating fraud against the public sector
  • Recovering debt owed to the public sector
  • Supporting research for public good;
  • And producing national and official statistics

The Codes of Practice provide details to practitioners on how the information sharing powers under the Digital Economy Act 2017 must be operated. There are 4 documents which cover the various information sharing powers in Part 5 of the Act:

  • Information-sharing Code of Practice (which covers the Public Service Delivery, Debt and Fraud provisions)
  • Civil Registration Data-sharing Code of Practice (which covers the civil registration provision)
  • Research Code of Practice and Accreditation Criteria (which covers the research provision)
  • Statistics Statement of Principles and Code of Practice on Changes to Data Systems (which covers the statistics provision)

The codes of practice provide guidance on the use and disclosure of information under the respective powers as well as explaining the legal framework. All public authorities and other participants must have regard to the relevant Code before any information is shared.

Alongside publishing the codes of practice, regulations have been brought into force which set 4 specific objectives for data sharing under the public service delivery power for addressing “multiple disadvantages”, fuel and water poverty and targeted assistance in re-tuning televisions following spectrum changes.

The data policy and governance policy team in DCMS will continue to engage with Departments and other organisations across the public sector to promote these powers. In particular, given our responsibility for the public service delivery power, we will want to work with partners to establish the scope for making further regulations which set new objectives for sharing information under the public service delivery power.

If you have any questions please contact the DCMS data policy and governance team at:,,

posted by esd support on 24th July 2018

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