The Scottish Executive announced last week that it will invest in developing data sharing and common data standards to help provide joined up health and social care as part of a £30 million programme of investment in e-government projects.

The funding will be used to support the development of smartcards, data sharing, data standards and e-procurement.

Immediate funding of more than £16m will be invested to support seven key public sector partnership projects.

These projects include £5.4m to develop services to young people and a young persons smartcard, £4.7m to support local authorities in the development of citizen focused information systems, and £1.4m to support the NHS and local authorities to develop common social work data standards and single shared assessments.

A key aim is to promote data sharing across the public sector, in particular to support joined-up working and help to change the culture of the public sector. This is particularly relevant for joint assessment in the sharing of health and social work data

The money will be available over two years under the second round of the Modernising Government Fund.

Mr Andy Kerr, the Scottish Minister for Finance and Public Service said: "Discussions with service providers identified the main areas we decided to target – smartcards, data sharing, data standards and e-procurement. All of these offer real benefits in terms of service delivery – from being able to access a range of services to having enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently.