We announced in January our plans to establish a Public Data Corporation (PDC) and set out the vision and objectives for an organisation that would bring together data rich bodies, providing easier access to public information.
This consultation document takes the next step by engaging data users, and the public more generally, to consider some of the important data policy questions that need to be decided in order to successfully establish a PDC later this year.
Here we are endeavouring to be as transparent as possible in engaging with data users in some of the early decisions that will inform the strategic direction of a PDC.
Importantly, the questions on charging for information focus on balancing the PDC objectives of making more data more freely available, including some for free, with ensuring that there is a sustainable business model for PDC.
It is critical that we have your views to help guide us in making choices that will help determine the business model, membership and structure of a PDC.
This consultation should also be read in conjunction with the broader consultation being published by the Cabinet Office on the Government’s Vision for Open data. A PDC will operate in the new context that the consultation is shaping and will reflect many of the key aims of this consultation.
Creation of a PDC will be an important step in opening up government data so the benefits can be felt in the wider economy.
As well as providing opportunities for greater efficiencies within the public sector through more collaboration and sharing of data, PDC will also deliver improved access to data for developers, business and members of the public leading to more opportunities to develop innovative products and services.
These opportunities will be further expanded in the work of the Growth Review over the summer being led by BIS and HMT.
Francis Maude Edward Davey