Press release

How should government become even more open?

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has launched an online consultation on opening up government.

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

That is one of the questions being asked by Minister for Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, today as he launches a public consultation on open data

The consultation follows the commitment by the Prime Minister to publish key data on public services, including:

  • GP achievements and prescribing
  • the performance of hospital teams in treating key conditions
  • the effectiveness of schools at teaching pupils across a range of subjects
  • criminal sentencing by court

The online consultation launched today asks the public, businesses and other interested parties for their views on: 

  • how we might enhance a ‘right to data’, establishing stronger rights for individuals, businesses and other actors to obtain data from public service providers
  • how to set transparency standards that enforce this right to data
  • how public service providers might be held to account for delivering open data
  • how we might ensure collection and publication of the most useful data
  • how we might make the internal workings of government and the public sector more open
  • how far there is a role for government to stimulate enterprise and market making in the use of open data. 

Francis Maude said: 

The UK government is determined to have the most ambitious open data agenda of any government in the world. We demonstrated that ambition recently through the Prime Minister’s open letter.  But we want to embed this approach throughout the public service and we want to hear from people about how they think we should do this. 

It is an incredibly brave step for any government to become this open, but this is the approach we want to take in order to create public accountability and efficiency in our services and to drive economic and social growth.

Francis Maude, together with Business Minister Ed Davey, today also launched a public consultation on data policy for a Public Data Corporation

The Public Data Corporation will, for the first time, bring together government bodies and data and provide more freely available data at the point of use, year on year within the constraints of affordability. Supporting the government’s growth agenda, it will open up opportunities for innovative developers, businesses and members of the public to generate social and economic growth through the use of data.

Edward Davey said: 

Britain has always been a leader in the global knowledge economy, but now more than ever we need to make the best use of the information and data that we possess to stimulate economic growth.

A clear data policy for the new Public Data Corporation is a necessary first step, and we want to hear people’s views on how it should work.

Professor Nigel Shadbolt of the UK Government Transparency Board said: 

These consultations are important for the future of open data in the UK. I urge anyone who cares about our country’s information infrastructure or the potential for economic growth and public service accountability to give their views and suggestions.

Notes to editors

  1. To comment on the consultations visit Open Data Consultation and Public Data Corporation Data Policy Consultation
  2. A report by McKinsey - Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity - estimates that across Europe the enterprise and productivity benefits of open public data assets could be worth €250 billion per year.
  3. The Prime Minister published his letter on transparency and open data to Cabinet on 7 July 2011. The letter sets out new commitments to begin to routinely publish key data on key public services.
Published 4 August 2011