UK opens up its plans for transparency and open data

Source: UK Government 28th June 2013

UK opens up its plans for transparency and open data

The UK’s draft National Action Plan on open data and transparency for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) has been published for consultation.

The UK government today renewed the Prime Minister’s aspiration for it to be the most open and transparent in the world by inviting the public to comment on the UK’s draft National Action Plan on transparency, open data and open policy making.

The government, in collaboration with civil society organisations, has published a draft of the UK’s second Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan for public consultation. The draft plan, ‘From Open Data to Open Government’, sets out the UK’s commitments to:

  • improve accountability
  • increase citizen participation
  • release more open data
  • build international partnerships to achieve greater transparency worldwide

The UK will submit the final plan in October to the international Open Government Partnership, of which the UK is currently lead co-chair. The OGP brings together 59 national governments and civil society organisations.

Transparency and open data have been at the heart of the UK government’s reforming agenda. Last month, under the UK presidency, all G8 countries adopted an Open Data Charter. This set out 5 strategic principles, including an expectation that governments will publish data openly by default, alongside principles to increase the quality, quantity and re-use of the data released. G8 members also identified 14 high-value areas from which they will release data, to unlock its economic potential, support innovation and provide greater accountability.

On Friday 28 June, the Land Registry will begin to issue residential house price data dating from 2012 back to 1995 in an open format. This is expected to lead to the development of a raft of applications benefiting house buyers, the property sector and social welfare groups. The release follows similar open data releases, including on crime and justice, health and education, which have led to useful and economically valuable digital applications.

The UK National Action Plan will again focus on releasing more open data previously held within public bodies, to benefit society and the economy. The consultation process will also seek public and business views on the government datasets that should be made freely available as part of a National Information Infrastructure, as promised in the government’s Information Economy Strategy.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

The draft National Action Plan shows open government and open policy-making in action. Now, we want businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society organisations and members of the public to play their part, get involved in the consultation and help shape the UK’s policy on open data and transparency.

Through world-leading open data releases, we have started to provide the raw material for a growing information economy in which small, innovative firms and civil society organisations can thrive – and have a real impact on growth and the well-being of society. At the same time, citizens are gaining more information with which to hold government to account and make more informed choices in how they run their lives.

I strongly urge businesses and civil society organisations to give us their views on the most important areas for the UK to take forward – on transparency, open data and open policy making.

You can contribute your views:

The consultation period ends on 19 September.

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