Building on the previous government’s work on the 'Making Public Data Public' initiative, the current government’s Coalition Programme contains several aims relating to open data:
Online disclosure of all central government spending and contracts over £25,000
Creation of a new ‘right to data’ so that government-held datasets can be requested and used by the public, and then published on a regular basis;
A requirement for all councils to publish items of spending above £500
Ensure that all data published by public bodies is published in an open and standardised format, so that it can be used easily and with minimal cost by third parties;
Along with other initiatives relating to open data, this area of government policy is now known as the Transparency Programme.
There are three main objectives behind Open Data:
Data that public sector will be required to provide;
Persuasion by government for the public sector to release data;
The Government’s desire to generate innovation inside the public sector, and externally amongst individual users and the non-public sector.
Challenges and risks identified by the ‘data community’ as well as the public sector itself,
Concerns over data quality, usability and methods of publication;
Risk of data being misused or poorly used, leading to inaccurate outcomes. This is
most illuminated by concerns raised over the effectiveness of “armchair auditors” versus practitioners and professionals using appropriate methodologies