Cabinet office minister Francis Maude announced that any citizen wanting access to public sector information for commercial or social benefits should send a request to the Open Data User Group (ODUG) using an online form at data.gov.uk, after he took over as lead co-Chair of the international Open Government Partnership (OGP).
“As the lead co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership, we will use our expertise as a global leader in transparency to help other countries turn their words into actions. Open data is the raw material of the 21st century, a resource for a new generation of entrepreneurs. Transparency drives prosperity and growth,” he said in New York, on the eve of the first anniversary of the OGP.
He also said that since 2010, the UK has published over 8,000 datasets.
The government has set itself a number of priorities for the Open Government Partnership September 2012 to September 2013 based around demonstrating the advantages of open governance such as citizen empowerment, sustainable economic growth and innovation and reduction of corruption.
To this end, the Met Office will be meeting with application developers to refine its DataPoint weather data visualisation app, which gives developers – professionals, scientists, even students – free access to Met Office data feeds.
ODUG was set up by the Cabinet Office “to advise the Data Strategy Board on public sector data that should be prioritised for release as open data, to the benefit of the UK,” according to the Cabinet Office website.
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