Francis Maude announces new data standard

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has appointed Mike Bracken Chief Data Officer, the first UK central government post of its kind, alongside Bracken’s role as Head of the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Bracken will be responsible for developing a new Government Data Standard, championing open data, and encouraging the use of data in the decision-making process. He will lead on developing greater data analysis skills and capability across government.

“Transparency is an idea whose time has come,” said Maude. “Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth, and inform choice over public services.”

“I’m delighted that Mike Bracken, who has spearheaded this government’s digital revolution, will also become the Government’s Chief Data Officer. He is the ideal person to take our already world-leading approach to open data even further, while strengthening data analysis skills in Whitehall.”

The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services

South the of the border, sixteen local and regional authorities that are setting the standard in open data and transparency have been recognised as Open Data Champions.

The Open Data Champions took part in a roundtable event which brought together leaders and chief executives from these authorities to explore the role of open data in the ‘local authority of the future.’

The Champions are putting data back into the hands of citizens and communities to create opportunities for innovation, economic and social growth and better public services.

The UK Government has established itself as a world leader in transparency and harnessing digital technology. It has been ranked 1st by Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation for Open Data and co-founded the D5, a group of the five leading digital governments.

“The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services – and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness,” said Maude. “These Open Data Champions are another way we are placing transparency at the heart of our long-term economic plan.”

Maude also launched two sets of principles to improve the transparency of government contracts. The principles, which all central government departments will follow, set a presumption in favour of disclosure, encouraging greater consideration of the information that should be made available when government contracts with a supplier.

Only information that would genuinely affect a supplier’s or the Government’s commercial position should be withheld.