Yorkshire and Humber Public Services Network

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The Public Services Network (PSN) is a secure computer network for central and local government. It is separate from the Internet, and allows public sector agencies to move and share information securely between themselves in order to be able to deliver services to the citizen as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Originally created by the Department for Work and Pensions to communicate Revenue and Benefits information to Local Authorities over the PSN Predecessor, the GCSx, it has now grown to encompass all sorts of data flows, all handled securely across this private network.

It is a ‘network of networks’, built up by joining the networks of various suppliers which have undergone a rigorous accreditation for security, performance and cost, which are then linked together to allow data to flow between them. Each organisation using a PSN is able to separate its own data from that of anyone else by using dedicated ‘layers’ within the network which are defined as for their use only. Additional ‘layers’ can then be created which allows data to be shared between organisations, or multiple ‘layers’ can be delivered down a single network connection to a site where more than one organisation is based, removing the need for expensive multiple connections as was the case of old (See Site Sharing).

Public sector agencies wishing to use the PSN also are accredited to ensure that their security and Information Governance arrangements are strong enough to ensure that data shared with them is handled correctly.

The PSN covers most of Central Government, the Police, Ministries of Defence and Justice, Local Authorities and Fire and Rescue. There are also moves to integrate the NHS network into the PSN in the medium term.

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