The Office of National Statistics has taken a step forward in its plans to create an electronic population register.
The register will pave the way for government departments to share citizen information held in separate departmental databases.
The ONS is seeking expressions of interest from suppliers by September to take part in a data matching trial that will assess the feasibility of matching records on individuals held by different government departments.
The trial is a key stage in the development of the central register, which, at a cost of more than £200m, aims to create an accurate Whitehall database of names and addresses that will act as an index to other government databases.
The trial will assess a wide range of innovative and standard data matching techniques on a sample of data to test address correction, data cleansing, assigning quality ratings to data, and data analysis.