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Francis Maude outlines Public Data Corporation plans

Policy framework for new open gov data org ready by autumn 2011

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The government intends to have a data policy framework in place by autumn 2011 as part of its preparations for the Public Data Corporation (PDC), according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

Maude was responding to a parliamentary question from Conservative MP Mark Pawsey about the government's plans for the PDC, aimed at bringing together data from government bodies into one organisation. The government has said it wants to open opportunities for developers, businesses and members of the public to generate social and economic growth through the use of data.

According to Maude, the government is also considering changes to the workings of government so that the PDC would be developed through a sponsoring department and a management board would be established.

Asked about the types of public sector organisation and data which would come within the remit of the proposed PDC, Maude said that not all organisations would be suitable for inclusion but that the government has not made a final decision on this.

"Important considerations will be how and to what extent the information is made available to its customers (other parts of government, businesses and citizens), and whether products and services form part of the organisation's 'public task' or whether they are a byproduct in the organisation's business model," he said.

The minister also said that although most public sector information will be available under the UK Open Government Licence, launched in September 2010 by The National Archives to make it easier to re-use government data, there are some instances where this is not possible.

He said that examples include where third-party intellectual property rights are present, or where charges are required to ensure the quality of the data.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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