The inquiry is focusing on the role of open data, what the government’s aims should be, what other data could be made available and how, as well as reviewing the data currently available and finding examples of best practice. It also asks which datasets are the most important and who uses them.
The government has made large strides in developing policy around open data over the last year. In 2012 it published a White Paper on Open Data in June 2012 which set out departmental open data strategies and the relaunch of the government’s data portal www.data.gov.uk. The paper also announced the launch of the Shakespeare Review into the use of public sector information, which was published in June 2013. The government has accepted all of the Shakespeare Review’s recommendations either in part or in full. Most recently, the UK government signed up to the Open Data Charter at the recent G8 summit.
In 2012 PASC announced ten inquiries into the use of statistics in government, which have so far have looked issues such as the operation of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the work of the ONS, communicating and publishing statistics and migration statistics.
A Questions and Issues paper for this particular inquiry is available to download from the PASC website. The RSS will be formulating its response prior to the deadline of 3 September 2013.