Press release

Better access to public sector information moves a step closer

The private sector and the open data community are to have greater influence over the release of public sector data to encourage business creation and economic growth.

19 March 2012
 
The private sector and the open data community are to have greater influence over the release of public sector data to encourage the creation of high-value businesses and promote economic growth, the government announced today.

A new independently chaired Data Strategy Board (DSB) will advise ministers on what data should be released and has the potential to unlock growth opportunities for businesses across the UK. At least one in three members of the DSB will be from outside government, including representatives of data re-users.

The DSB will work with the Public Data Group (PDG) - which consists of Trading Funds the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, Land Registry and Companies House - to provide a more consistent approach to improving access to public sector information.

The government is making £7 million available from April 2013 for the DSB to purchase additional data for free release from the Trading Funds and potentially other public sector organisations, funded by efficiency savings. An Open Data User Group, which will be made up of representatives from the Open Data community, will be directly involved in decisions on the release of Open Data, advising the DSB on what data to purchase from the Trading Funds and other public organisations and release free of charge.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, who will be jointly responsible for the DSB with Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, said:

This government is a world leader in open data and transparency. We’ve already released over 40,000 data files on data.gov.uk, and this has helped create high-value businesses of real social benefit in the fields of health, transport and weather.

The new structure for Open Data will ensure a more inclusive discussion, including private sector data users, on future data releases, how they should be paid for and which should be available free of charge.

Read the full press release on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

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