Environment Agency Framework

Environment Agency logoTSO is very pleased to have been awarded a place on the Environment Agency Framework for Building Capacity in the provision of Linked Data.

TSO has established itself as a leading player in the provision of Linked Data solutions for the Public Sector. TSO's selection for a place on the Environment Agency's Framework once again proves TSO is at the forefront of Open Data and Linked Data solutions.

The Environment Agency's vision is to create a better place for people and wildlife. They provide access to information in a variety of ways, much of which depends on technical IT infrastructure and services.  To help deliver their outcomes, they require the use of specialist, expert support, to deal with the complex issues that arise from providing access to public sector information.

What is Linked Data?

As part of their 'Transparency' and 'Open Data' agendas, the government is actively promoting a new 'Linked Data' approach. This enables published sets of data to be easily connected with other published data that uses the same standard format - so dynamically building a 'web of data'. To provide the basis for expanding the Environment Agency's capacity in Linked Data provision, they will require extra capacity in modelling their data to appropriate schemas, to improve the linked data skills of their staff, and to effectively shape strategy and longer-term investments in linked data and the semantic web.

The Environment Agency Framework Solutions

The Environment Agency Framework is made of up five different solutions. TSO is an approved supplier for the following:

Provision of expertise/services to implement new linked data solutions, including:

  • Modelling to enable production of linked data sets;

  • Design, development, testing and implementation of application services for making linked data available (e.g. Application Program Interface (APIs) for third-parties to use, bespoke applications for exploiting linked data sets);

  • Ongoing support and maintenance for linked data applications;

  • To support the development of staff capability in the above tasks (specifically 'Linked Data' capabilities) through e.g. skills transfer, and implementation of business processes, etc.

  • Provision of services to assist definition of longer-term 'linked data' opportunities and strategy;

  • Use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) tools rather than bespoke development wherever possible;

  • Intrinsic part of any work being to enable skills and knowledge transfer to EA staff;

  • Proactive identification of relevant linked data initiatives, events, materials and opportunities that Environment Agency are likely to be interested in.

Benefits of Using the Framework

The main advantage to a purchasing authority of using a framework agreement is that it cuts out the need to go through the full OJEU process every time new requirements arise.  Having to go through the tender procedure once rather than several times, will obviously reduce tendering costs.  It also means there is less downtime between identifying the need and fulfilling it, which considering how lengthy the OJEU process can be, could be a considerable benefit.  There are also further potential savings to the purchasing body because of economies of scale, which may prompt suppliers to offer more competitive prices.

All suppliers on the framework agreement have already been evaluated and approved as providing value for money, as well as complying with UK and EU legislation, you can be given peace of mind that the terms and conditions of your contract will be robust and comply with best practice.

The Framework is primarily intended to meet the needs of the Environment Agency, but will become available to other public sector bodies.