LOCAL PUBLIC DATA PANEL - TERMS OF REFERENCE 2011-12

Background

  1. The Local Public Data Panel has operated since January 2010. It is an independent Panel that advises Government on issues relating to the release and use of local public data. The Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government has renewed the mandate of the Panel for a further period to support the Government’s efforts to accelerate the open data agenda in local government and other public services.

Objectives

  1. The Local Public Data Panel will bring together different interests from the developer, activist, local authority and Government communities in local data. In particular it will focus on
    • encouraging the release of  local public data to put power in to people’s hands, support business re-use of the data and help improve the provision of local services.
    • championing those local public bodies innovating and using open data to improve their accountability to users and to improve the services they provide.
  2. The Panel will challenge, influence and advise. It will recommend tasks that should be taken forward by Government and other public bodies and devise solutions to current problems. The subjects to which  the Panel will be expected to bring this perspective are:
    • Data quality, comparability and accessibility for local people.
    • Data-sharing between local agencies.
    • Barriers within public sector culture or legal framework.
    • Culture change and data literacy
    • Open data and productivity

Timing

  1. The Panel will operate for a 12 month period to June 2012, periodically reporting to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Public Sector Transparency Board.

Membership

  1. The Panel’s standing membership is:
    • Chair: Professor Nigel Shadbolt
    • Dennis Skinner, Local Government Association representative
    • Nick Aldridge, CEO of Mission Fish UK (eBay for Charity)
    • Emer Coleman, Greater London Authority
    • Jos Creese, Head of IT Hampshire County Council
    • Roger Hampson, Chief Executive, London Borough of Redbridge
    • Baroness Hanham CBE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
    • Janet Hughes, Head of Scrutiny and Investigations at the Greater London Authority
    • Liam Maxwell, Director of ICT Futures, Cabinet Office
    • William Perrin, Government web innovator and community activist
    • Dave Smith, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council
    • Chris Taggart, Web developer and founder of OpenlyLocal.com
    • Tim Allen, Visiting Professor, Department of Geography, Birkbeck, London University
  2. Other individuals may be invited to attend meetings with agreement of the Chair.
  3. Membership is unpaid though DCLG will cover costs such as travel.

Success

  1. Key outputs will include:
    • Opening up and routine publication of local public service data
    • Clear understanding of successful implementation of public service information strategies.
    • A growing evidence base on use of open data by public services.
    • Contribution and advice on the Government’s transparency strategy.

Methods

  1. The Panel will meet on a 6 weekly cycle to debate issues and review progress. The Chair may seek agreement for smaller sub-groups of Panel members to oversee specific actions. The Secretariat will be provided by DCLG.
  2. The Panel will blog on data.gov.uk to engage with the open data community.
  3. The Panel will seek to influence other mainstream programmes where transparency and open data would be beneficial. The Panel will champion the actions of other individuals and organisations working to make local public data openly available.

Interfaces

  1. The Panel will interface with other “Sector Transparency Boards” overseeing implementation of open data commitments in crime and justice, transport, health, education and welfare. The Secretariat, working with the Cabinet Office Transparency team, will ensure inter-dependencies are clear during the implementation period.
  2. The Panel will also need to interact with local practice and sector-led improvement programmes.

Review

  1. The Panel will review implementation after a six month period and, if necessary, seek to amend these terms of reference.

Department for Communities & Local Government

August 2011