Announcement on the Public Data Group
On 29th November, the Government announced that Companies House is to be part of a Public Data Group of trading funds.
Earlier in the year the Government announced that it wanted to establish a Public Data Corporation (PDC) to improve the way it manages some of the large information sets it holds and looks to make more information freely available. Companies House, with its important data sets for companies and directors, was one of the organisations originally considered as possibly part of the PDC.
Following extensive consideration, a decision has now been taken not to establish a single corporation. However, delivering on its commitment, the Government is announcing the establishment of a Data Strategy Board (DSB) which will seek to maximise the value of data from what it is calling a Public Data Group (PDG) of Trading Funds for long-term economic and social benefit, including through the release of data free of charge.
The Data Strategy Board is tasked by Ministers with maximising the value of data from the Public Data Group to deliver economic growth. It will prioritise the delivery of Open Data from the Public Data Group, and work to ensure that access to data for all users is made easier and that access to free data increases over time, subject to affordability
The Public Data Group will initially consist of Ordnance Survey, Met Office, HM Land Registry and Companies House. The Group will identify and deliver efficiencies and synergies to reduce the cost of data for users of data and provide additional funding for making data freely available.
The implications of Companies House being part of the Public Data Group are:
This does not change:
Government has charged the PDG with:
The organisations in the PDG carry out a wide range of functions. In the longer-term the Government is considering, on a case by case basis, the options for greater involvement of the private sector in the delivery of these public services. This could take the form of partial sale, joint ventures with commercial players, accessing private capital to support investment or the introduction of alternative management structures or expertise to drive efficiency. The Government will also consider the advisability of alternative delivery models such as turning any of its member Trading Funds into Companies Act companies.
The principles of the DSB and PDG around improving the way we manage and make information available fit well with our strategy and our aim to make more information available for free. As part of this we intend: