ODUG response to consultation on the code of practice
Earlier this month ODUG responded to the Cabinet Office consultation on the code of practice for datasets and beta charged licence. A copy of the full response is available below. Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 are intended to establish an enhanced right to data by introducing a statutory duty for public authorities to publish datasets for re-use. The Open Data User Group fully supports this intent. Successful implementation of a right to data is a precondition to releasing social and economic benefits derived from open data: transparency, accountability of public bodies and technical and business innovation. The new code of practice is intended for all public data holders. Much of the draft code restates existing government policy on the default use of the Open Government Licence (OGL) by central government departments and the desirability of progress towards the five star standard for release of public datasets. ODUG concurs with these aspects of the draft code. The group is concerned that, if publishing under the OGL does not become the default position for public bodies, the right to data will remain an aspiration. ODUG has recommended in its consultation response that the code of practice should be reframed to strengthen the primary requirement that publication of data under the OGL should be considered as the standard course of action for public bodies. Other licensing options should only be considered as exceptions to the general duty to publish open data, free at the point of use and re-use, under the existing OGL. Please read the full consultation response for further detail.