The Cabinet Ofce plays the lead role in promoting transparency acrossgovernment.
It is responsible or coordinating and monitoring implementation,secretariat support to a Public Sector Transparency Board, bringing together ofcialsto embed transparency across government, and providing guidance on some o thereleases required o all government departments. Many other bodies also play signifcantroles in implementing transparency, including other departments who are responsible ortheir own data releases, The National Archives, the Inormation Commissioner’s Ofceand bodies in the wider public sector.
Governance arrangements have secured coordinated action, but havenot yet ocused on achieving value or money.
The transparency agenda underthis Government began as a coalition pledge with associated actions required o alldepartments to implement the policy: the Cabinet Ofce did not prepare an overallpolicy impact assessment at the outset. As the scope o the transparency agenda hasdeveloped, the Cabinet Ofce has published examples o the benefts o public datainitiatives to support the strategic case or transparency, or example on its Open orBusiness website, but has not yet systematically assessed the costs and benefts o the Government’s specifc transparency initiatives. The Government announced inthe
Autumn Statement 2011
the creation o an Open Data Institute. Early plans or theInstitute include a role to develop a uller evidence base on the economic and publicservice benefts o open data.
Progress o implementation
The Cabinet Ofce, in partnership with departments, has signifcantlyincreased the amount and type o public sector inormation released and meta high proportion o its commitments.
Twenty-three out o twenty-fve commitmentsor central government in the Prime Minister’s letters due by December 2011 hadbeen met. The www.data.gov.uk website, launched by the previous Government inJanuary 2010, indexes public data releases. The number o data sets catalogued withinwww.data.gov.uk has grown rom 2,500 in January 2010 to 7,865 in December 2011.
To date, compliance with transparency good practices has been mixed.
The advisory Transparency Board developed a drat set o public data principles, whichoutline good practice or releasing and presenting inormation. Compliance with someprinciples is strong. Most o the data releases on www.data.gov.uk are openly availableor re-use, with 86 per cent published under the Open Government Licence andthree-quarters in ormats whereby data can easily be reprocessed. However, in otherareas there has been less progress. For example, the Cabinet Ofce has not yet defnedhow departments should prepare and disclose data inventories to acilitate wider use.