Free Our Data: the blog

A Guardian Technology campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens


Government asks Free Our Data to work with OPSI on web channel for users

We did say that the meeting with Michael Wills was interesting. In today’s Guardian, we precis the meeting (update: the full text is now on the blog), which boils down to a few key points:

  • Michael Wills, the minister for information at the Department for Justice, thinks the case for free re-use of public sector data in and outside government is “compelling”
  • He thinks that government has to move quickly to adjust to the changing information world
  • He expects the ‘public task’ of Ordnance Survey to be defined within a study that will report to him by the end of this year
  • the trading fund model, set up in the 1970s (by which government agencies charge for their output, reducing their need for direct tax funding) needs reexamination
  • He is reluctant, however, to disturb a model (trading funds) which has produced high-quiality information

They key point though is that he wants Free Our Data to work with the Office of Public Sector information to set up a web channel through which the public can request public data, and what form they want it. That, to us, marks a significant recognition of the importance of this campaign.

Read more at The minister will hear you now in the Guardian. The full transcript of the meeting will be posted once it has been re-checked for accuracy.

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