2 Policy context

As part of its transparency and open data agendas, Government is committed to opening up access to information created and held by government and the wider public sector.

The UK public sector creates, collects and holds substantial amounts of information, ranging from mapping and weather data, health and crime statistics, to photographs. Much of this information is available online at no charge, through websites and portals such as data.gov.uk. Government is also committed to making further sources of information available and creating a climate to facilitate this across the public sector. 

The removal of barriers to re-use by introducing simple and transparent licensing processes, will encourage use and re-use of public sector information. This increased use and re-use will:

  • promote creative and innovative activities, that will deliver social and economic benefits and enhance job creation for the UK;
  • provide stimulus to the knowledge and digital economy, especially in the information and publishing industries;
  • make government more transparent and open in its activities, ensuring that the public are better informed about the work of the government and the public sector;
  • equip people and organisations with the power and resources they need to make a real difference in their communities;
  • help government achieve its objectives through active involvement, participation and contribution by businesses and the public;
  • enable users, both professional and non-professional, to obtain information in formats and ways not necessarily offered by the public sector; and
  • improve the flow of information from the public sector to the public leading to better informed decisions, efficiency and compliance with the law and regulations.