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APPSI to examine free data model, it says

The Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information has put out its latest annual report. APPSI, you’ll recall, is now headed by David Rhind, the previous head of the Ordnance Survey (who also testified to the Treasury on the next census). But this report was signed off by Richard Susskind.

Kable has a short story on it:

Outgoing chair of APPSI, Professor Richard Susskind, said: “2007 was a pivotal year for the UK in relation to the re-use of PSI. Above all, we saw a marked increase across central government in the level of debate over the re-use of PSI. In particular, APPSI warmly welcomed the growing interest amongst ministers.”

The annual report itself is more interesting: re the Cambridge report, it says

APPSI can already confirm, however, that we welcome the tone and rigour of the Cambridge study – it is the kind of detailed and systematic economic analysis of trading funds and PSI re-use that we have been recommending since 2003; and we hope this represents the beginning of a new era of open and sophisticated thinking about the economics of PSI.

That’s encouraging. More transparency helps. And as for pressure upwards:

We intend, more frequently than we have in the past, to provide practical briefings to our Minister at the Ministry of Justice. These will cover key issues such as evidence, statistics and data relating to the impact of PSI; the governance of PSI and principles underpinning its re-use; the enforcement of the PSI Regulations; models and case studies clarifying the economics of PSI; the findings of ongoing horizon scanning by APPSI; and the adequacy and scope of information management activities across the public sector.

Basically, much more focus on on the economics of PSI. It also says it will “follow up” on progress from the recommendations of the reports into PSI such as The Power Of Information and the Cambridge study. And to that end…

To stimulate and widen debate about the future exploitation of PSI, we will conduct an initial inquiry into the implications of introducing a regime under which public bodies would be subject to some kind of obligation to make their PSI available for re-use. There is no such obligation today under the PSI Regulations.

Which is telling, isn’t it?

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