sa.FIRE has been designed to be a completely integrated platform for the creation of an information sharing policy and its review, modelling, implementation and auditing. Central to the core architecture principle within sa.FIRE is the SPoC (Single Point-of-Contact) which is a locked-down gateway for each information-sharing request between two domains, where multiple gateways can therefore exist for each information sharing agreement.
The figure above outlines the basic architecture of the system, where the SPoCs are
This architecture ensures that there is no direct access to the data storage within each of the systems, protecting the data at source and ensuring no unauthorised copies are made, and also ensures that all access is well-managed and audited for requests.
Information is shared between domains, through the definition of policies based on roles or individuals within each SPoC. For example, within Figure 1, police access to information held within Organisation A is defined within Organisation A’s SPoC and when a request is made by an individual police employee to access information, authorisation and authentication takes place at the local SPoC, based on the credentials presented by the Police domain.
A key innovation within sa.FIRE is the definition of rights between domains as a model which can then be implemented effectively between those domains. With this the rights to access from external domains, such as from social care to health care, can be defined using a governance policy.