The Power of Information Report – connecting .gov.uk to the mashup generation

Ed Mayo and Tom Steinberg have completed, their important review of the potential value of Government generated information, when combined with citizen contributed information and tools.

Power of InformationThe Power of Information review commissioned by the cabinet office, is a very important report in my opinion – noting the value of Public Sector information, but also recognising that it is when this information is in the hands of the citizen, it becomes most valuable.

The report should be seen as a way for government to catch up with and serve the needs of the “mash-up” generation who will increasingly become a demanding group of citizens who understand the power of information.

It will be interesting to see the Governments response to the report, as is often the case we must remember that Government does not speak with a single voice, but the fact that the Cabinet office commissioned this independent report in the the first place is very positive.

If you are a UK reader I recommend downloading and reading this report, there is one recommendation that is close to my heart :-), and another that is just vital –

Recommendation 9. By Budget 2008, government should commission and publish an
independent review of the costs and benefits of the current trading fund charging model for the re-use of public sector information, including the role of the five largest trading funds, the balance of direct versus downstream economic revenue, and the impact on the quality of public sector information.

For too long the debate about cost recovery has been carried out in a vacuum without an authoritative economic justification of the statue quo – this recommendation would either prove the case for the OS so it would no longer have to defend itself, or prove the case of the free data lobby – and we could then get on with the important business of using geography to make the world a better place to live in.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

3 comments

  1. Daniel

    Although I also feel this is an important document – I can’t help but think back to the USGS’s recommendation handed to government here in the States, and how that inevitably turned-out.

    I’ve grown weary of recommendations to government these days as a result, as the actual experts seem to go overlooked for intentions that – although may have had the spirit of goodness in them to some degree – may not have been wise for the greater good.

    The song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”, in the current political atmosphere, could possibly translate to “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Scientists”.

  2. Pingback: Common-Nature » Blog Archive » Can the public help you do your job?
  3. Pingback: edparsons.com » Blog Archive » Power of Information BarCamp

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