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Following recommendations made in the triennial review of February 2015 and the introduction of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, APPSI ceased to function with effect from 18 October 2015.

Complaints about re-use are now the responsibility of the Information Commissioner's Office. Read more in The National Archives' Guidance on the implementation of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

APPSI's role

The Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI) was established as a Non-Departmental Public Body by Douglas Alexander MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office in April 2003.

In October 2006, APPSI became a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Ministry of Justice (then the Department of Constitutional Affairs).

APPSI is independent of both The National Archives and the Ministry of Justice. This independence applies to our main roles:

  • advice  to Ministers and to the Director of OPSI and Controller of HMSO
  • as part of the review process regarding the re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument 2005 No 1515)

APPSI's terms of reference

APPSI's terms of reference apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. APPSI's role is:

  • to advise Ministers on how to encourage and create opportunities in the information industry for greater re-use of public sector information
  • to advise the Director of the Office of Public Sector Information and Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office about changes and opportunities in the information industry, so that the licensing of Crown copyright and public sector information is aligned with current and emerging developments
  • to review and consider complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 and advise on the impact of the complaints procedures under those regulations up to and including 17 October 2015, at which point the transitional provisions of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 end

The History and Impact of APPSI

The world of Public Sector Information (PSI) has changed almost beyond recognition since APPSI was established. The reports below by David Rhind (Chairman, 2008-2015) and Phillip Webb (Interim Chairman, April-October 2015) examine the role that APPSI has played in influencing government policy.  

APPSI, PSI, Open Data and Government Information Policies (PDF, 0.56MB)

Interim Chairman's Final Report (PDF, 0.27MB)


APPSI Triennial Review

On 3 February 2015 the Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, Simon Hughes, issued a written ministerial statement announcing the outcome of the triennial review of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI).

The review was undertaken in accordance with the Cabinet Office's guidance on public bodies and as part of the Government's commitment to improve and make sure of the best accountability and effectiveness of public bodies.

The review concluded that there is no longer a continuing need for the current non-statutory functions of APPSI. Its statutory function did not form part of the review as it is currently under consideration as part of the Government's transposition of Directive 2013/37/EU on the re-use of public sector information. The Directive requires an impartial review body with the ability to make binding decisions and APPSI would be unlikley to meet these requirements. APPSI's statutory function will be replaced by new redress provisions and will therefore no longer be required.

Therefore the triennial review recommended that APPSI ceases to carry out its non-statutory functions and is abolished once its statutory function ceases to exist with transposition of Directive 2013/37/EU during 2015.

When making the announcement Mr Hughes thanked the Chairman and members for their valuable work in advising Government, and for their key role in contributing to the Government's approach to public sector information re-use and Crown copyright. In particular he noted its development of the concept of a national information framework, reflected in the Government's National Information Infrastructure, and APPSI's role in developing an open data glossary on (see also the impact of APPSI and principles pertaining to Government's public sector information holders.

In the coming months APPSI will work with officials from The National Archives on the practical implications of the review's outcome.

Drowning in Data: who and what can we trust?

In April 2015, the Chairman of APPSI wrote the following paper which seeks to summarise many inter-related strands of the Big Data world, including developments in Public Sector Information and Open Data. While it was not put forward for formal approval to an APPSI meeting, much of the content was discussed by APPSI members at different times.

Drowning in data: who and what can we trust? (PDF, 0.31MB)

Contact details

The APPSI Chair and members of the Panel can be contacted via the Secretariat:

Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information
The National Archives
Surrey TW9 4DU

Tel: +44  (0)20 8392 5337


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