Multimillion-pound fund to help free public sector data

A new investment fund is available for public sector organisations that release data in community and technology projects, the government has announced.

The £1.5m investment is led by the Cabinet Office and the Open Data User Group (ODUG), an advisory group for the access and use of public sector data.

The fund is hoped to cultivate a culture of change, to improve the way public data is made available. More than 100 spaces have already been awarded to senior public servants who will act as ambassadors for the release of data across the public sector.

Examples of public sector open data initiatives include the Leeds Data Mill, which makes data about public services in Leeds freely available, and Legislative Openness, a proposal to make the Department for Work and Pensions’ legislative data available to download in bulk.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The UK is a world leader in opening up data because we know that it creates a more accountable, efficient and effective government. Open data is a raw material for economic growth, supporting the creation of new markets, business and jobs and helping us compete in the global race. To ensure this agenda continues to thrive, we are supporting a number of projects which will drive forward this culture of openness.”

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