The last few weeks have seen us deliver on our promise to radically shake-up what transparency means in government. We have already taken those important first steps and released information about people, jobs and salaries that had been previously unavailable data, so that people can start to really hold politicians and government to account.
We’ve set up the Transparency Board to keep pushing the transparency agenda and ensure our commitments continue to be implemented across government as announced by the Prime Minister in his letter to Cabinet Ministers on 29 May. The Board is chaired by Francis Maude the other members are Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Professor Nigel Shadbolt from Southampton University, Tom Steinberg, founder of mySociety, and Dr Rufus Pollock from Cambridge University, an economist who helped found the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Board is itself transparent and has published the minutes and papers from its inaugural meeting held on 24 June.
The Government’s approach to transparency is both push and pull – we have already pushed out data on money and people to make sure it is automatically available, and are working on the pull aspect by giving people a right to data so that they can ask for the data they want.
As part of this the Transparency Board has identified some frequently requested datasets which include:
- Land Registry
- Companies House
- Integrated Business Register
- Transport Data include timetables, fare and real time running information
- Weather information including observations and forecasts
- Environment Agency data
- Address register
However, the Transparency Board wants to hear from the public what their priorities are. These datasets? Other ones? A combination?
All this on the day when the Government published the public procurement spend survey for 2009 which included local authority and Department of Health figures for the first time in one form.
But what are your top dataset priorities? You tell us!