Data Steering Group

The Data Steering Group has strategic oversight of the use and management of government’s data, both inside and outside the public sector.

The group meets quarterly.

Terms of reference

The Data Steering Group is responsible for:

  • reviewing the government data programme’s scope and deliverables for alignment with the stated strategic goals, including how it relates to stakeholders outside the public sector
  • promoting consistency in the government’s approach to data privacy and security
  • supporting a fit-for-purpose cross-government standards-based approach to data access - for both departments and external users of government data
  • championing the development of specialist data capability and generalist data skills
  • championing open data, and its use by government and wider society
  • reviewing the UK’s international policy on data-related issues, and ensuring it supports the government’s vision for data and is driven by operational realities and best practice

The Data Steering Group will do this by:

  • reviewing the data programme work plans for the delivery of its set objectives, and making recommendations to the Government Digital Service (GDS) Director of Data and the Minister for the Cabinet Office on their suitability
  • advising the Data Leaders Network on their engagement with the wider public sector and beyond
  • using its wide-ranging experience and expertise to ‘horizon-scan’ and advise ministers and the data programme leadership on the scope and direction of the data programme
  • advising ministers, the GDS Director of Data and data leaders on how they manage the communication of the data vision


The members are:

  • John Pullinger (Chair), UK National Statistician, Office of National Statistics
  • Francine Bennett, Mastodon C
  • Fiona Caldicott, National Data Guardian for Health and Care
  • Julian David, techUK
  • Sarah Davidson, Scottish Government
  • Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Cabinet Office*
  • Paul Maltby, GDS
  • Claire Melamed, Overseas Development Institute
  • Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council
  • Xavier Rolet, London Stock Exchange
  • Heather Savory, Office for National Statistics
  • Nigel Shadbolt, Open Data Institute
  • Mark Stone, Enfield Council
  • Mustafa Suleyman, Google DeepMind
  • Martin Tisné, Omidyar Foundation
  • Steve Thomas, Experian
  • Mark Thompson, Judge Business School
  • Mark Walport, Government Office for Science
  • Nicola Yates, Bristol City Council

*The Minister for the Cabinet Office attends alternate meetings.


September 2016:

May 2016:

February 2016:

January 2016 Data Steering Group workshop recommendations:

November 2015: