As someone points out in the comments of this Free Our Data post, the definition of the Ordnance Survey’s public task was clearly written by the OS, I would suggest maybe even Vanessa Lawrence herself.
But if you were the CEO of a large commercial organisation would you not want to write your own mission statement ? Of course you would, but in most public companies this would be done with reference to your shareholders and discussed by your executive board with the input of your industry experienced chairman, well at least in theory anyway.
The problem here is the lack of knowledgeable oversight of the activities of the OS, the public task of the OS was defined by the OS because nobody else within government was either qualified or interested to do so, things are certainly beginning to change post the Power of Information report, but still the underlying value of geospatial information; and it’s huge potential if made more accessible, remains hidden behind bureaucratic processes.
Perhaps the mythical UK Location Strategy might suggest a way forward, I wonder who wrote that…
Written and submitted from the Iberia Lounge, Madrid Airport, using its 802.11 network.