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Continue the drive for open government data

Last updated: 10:50am 16 October 2019

We will continue the drive for open data, maintaining our position as the world leader.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.81

Our verdict

Open data here refers to information held by government which is not personal or sensitive and is made publicly available. The government collects vast amounts of such data – e.g. geographic data; information from schools; economic statistics – and is considered by many (but not all) to be a reliable source. As a founding member of the Digital 5 (now Digital 9) the UK has historically been at the forefront of the drive for open government data. This policy is a promise to continue the drive and maintain a leadership role.

The UK has the joint highest score for open data in the World Wide Web Foundation’s global rankings. In this regard, the government has been successful in maintaining its position as the world leader.

In 2018, an effort was made to make data easier to access through a redesign of the government’s data portal.

In June 2018, the government announced it would develop a National Data Strategy to “support the UK to build a world-leading data economy”. An initial consultation was undertaken on parameters and objectives, with a full consultation on a draft strategy planned for later in 2019/20.

The government has also committed to the appointment of a Chief Data Officer by 2020. To date, no one has been appointed, with the government claiming the conditions are “not quite there yet”.

The government has begun consultations on its National Data Strategy and may yet appoint a Chief Data Officer by its deadline. Alongside this, it has maintained its top ranking for open data according to the World Wide Web Foundation. We think there’s enough evidence to say this policy is ‘done’.

Access the data!

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.