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UK.gov asks developers for views on Public Data Corporation

Working title may change to Vanilla Data Corp or similar (maybe)

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The UK government wants to know what British taxpayers think about its newly created Public Data Corporation, which was greeted with a slow hand clap by some openistas when it was announced last month.

From today until 11 March, the Cabinet Office is asking individuals and organisations that use government data to get in touch, via an online forum, with thoughts on datasets and products created by public sector agencies.

It said it was particularly interested in registration activities, environmental science issues, critical infrastructure and the built environment.

The government said it hadn't committed much time to health, education, welfare and criminal justice-derived datasets, but added it was willing to consider suggestions on those areas too.

The Cabinet Office also appears to be mulling a name change for the PDC, and is asking if individuals can suggest a more suitable moniker.

Under the corporation, data and government bodies will be diced and sliced into one organisation to make yet-to-be-revealed datasets available to the public, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said last month.

However, the government said it would only “make more data free at the point of use, where this is appropriate and consistent with ensuring value for taxpayers’ money”.

Today's launch of the PDC forum represents a retread of the government's "transparency" efforts to be seen to be doing the right thing, by getting individuals to post comments online.

As we pointed out last month, the government is yet to reveal specifics about what data will be made available through the PDC. But arguably the corporation represents the ConDem Coalition’s first big attempt to ringfence some information that the public wants to see freed up.

No wonder then that it's struggling with the name.

You can wade into the PDC debate here. ®

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