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Home Office and Ministry of Justice Hack Day Search
by Emma Mulqueeny 15. mars 2010 15:21 Enter search term Search
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On the 11th March Rewired State ran a simple hack day for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. Ten
developers - the youngest of whom was 15, one day, all the data that has already been released through the
Making Public Data Public (MPDP) project by both departments, wifi, an office, a table, a dog, coffee, Media links
chocolate and sandwiches. Presentation of the nine applications took place at 4.30pm in the Home Office to
a selection of policy officials, statisticians, communications officials from both departments; as well as the
Cabinet Office Making Public Data Public project team led by Andrew Stott, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel
Shadbolt.
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The applications were interesting and good and links to a full list of them will be published over the weekend
on Rewired State and the applications themselves to http://data.gov.uk, but the real success was the Cabinet Office
connection between developer and statisticians, policy makers, Chief Information Officer (CIO), press officers,
tsars, the people who can actually make what the geeks want to happen: happen. The energy in the
conference room during the Q&A session at the end, with people fighting to speak, enthusiasm sometimes Twitter @DirDigEng
flinging people to their feet (including Sir TBL) - shows us that it is still absolutely right and necessary to octobre 15. 14:57
keep these events pure and simple: UK Government Departmental structure charts
UK Government Departmental structure charts
http://bit.ly/dewVX8 #gov20 #opendata

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geek + data + government officials = success/open data/new process

The biggest message for the day seemed to be that not only can the developer community deliver on the
promise made that there is a hunger for raw data, that hackers will come up with solutions to problems and
new uses for public data but that also these applications will gather their own data, a new way for government
to understand the needs, behaviour and attitude of the citizens of this country.
As much as it was an exercise in understanding the needs and drivers of the developer community, it was
just as valuable for the developers to have discussions with policy officials and statisticians, to understand
the working of government, the reasons some things are done the way they are done - it's not all
'bureaucracy gone mad'.

Rewired State are running a few more events in March, and I would encourage developers to sign up for more
hacking, officials to also sign up to watch the demonstrations and move this from a 'stone in a pond' ripple
effect, to a movement for real change. To me, the intimacy of the hack day yesterday was a tipping point in
understanding of the value of MPDP to the departments and developers. The day saw much internal
communication across all the disciplines of officials who were there, and those who have heard about what
happened, planning next steps - as well as messages of surprise, from developers to me, at how impressed
they had been by the officials they spoke to.

It is wonderful that a developer can create a facebook app that shows the world that their preception of crime
in their local area might be unduly pessimistic when you look at the raw figures - things might not actually be
that bad - but also that the developers' perception of government officials who own and operate the data could
also be skewed - they are not actually that bad.

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Tags: open data, apps, making, home office hack day
Categories: Events

Website: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS. Switchboard: 020 7276 1234