Press release

Government response to Stephan Shakespeare’s review of public sector information

Stephan Shakespeare today launches the ‘Shakespeare Review’ outlining recommendations for how public sector information can be better used

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Data Strategy Board Chairman and YouGov CEO Stephan Shakespeare today launches the ‘Shakespeare Review’, an independent report that outlines recommendations for how public sector information (PSI) can be better used to unlock economic growth.

Matthew Hancock, Business Minister and sponsor of the Data Strategy Board, said:

Open data drives growth and pushes public services to do better. Britain is in a strong position to be a world leader in open data.

Stephan’s excellent review shows how government and business can work together and create new business opportunities. Encouraging business innovation through open data could transform public services and policy making to be more efficient, timely and effective.

We warmly welcome the review and will look at the recommendations carefully to see how they could be implemented to enable wider access to public sector information so that we can strike the right balance between affordability, data security and value for money.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

This government is at the forefront of the open data revolution, releasing unprecedented amounts of open information.

The release of open data is vital to help the UK get ahead in the global race. Research supporting this review finds that the social and economic benefits of public sector information to the UK are already worth over £7 billion. We want to see that grow.

The Shakespeare Review is an important contribution to how we unleash the potential in open data, and we will now consider its recommendations.”

Notes to editors

1.On 22 October 2012, BIS and CO Ministers announced that Stephan Shakespeare, the Chair of the Data Strategy Board, would lead an independent review of Public Sector Information (PSI) – the Shakespeare Review. The review was a commitment contained in the Government’s ‘Unleashing the Potential’ Open Data White Paper, which was published by the Cabinet Office on 28 June 2012. You can read it at

2.The report is supported by an independent market assessment of PSI which has been produced by Deloitte, and which forms the evidence base for the report. Deloitte’s own estimates puts the current direct value of public sector information at around £1.8 billion with wider social and economic benefits taking it up to around £6.8 billion.

3.The review was needed to rigorously examine the evidence base and assess the market for public sector information. This includes considering current and emerging market segments, what constraints limit their development, and ultimately the competitiveness of businesses already in the market or looking to enter the market.

4.The Government will formally respond to the review in the summer 2013 and will build on the work that has already been done through policy measures such as the Data Strategy Board, Open Data Institute and Departmental Data strategies.

5.For further information please contact the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills press office on 0207 215 5945.

6.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 15 May 2013