Is the Public Data Corporation gone for good?

I’m not sure. But certainly, things are shifting around in a way that sounds very positive. I just got this in my email, from the Shareholder Executive, as I’m sure many other have:

As promised we want to keep our stakeholders up to date with the latest progress on the Public Data Corporation project.  You may well have seen the Chancellor’s announcement within today’s Autumn Statement but I thought that it would be helpful to set out what this means in practice.

The Government has today announced that:

To support the growth of high-value data businesses and make access to data easier for startups, the Government is making available for free a range of core reference data sets.  In addition it is announcing the creation of a Data Strategy Board and a Public Data Group which will maximise the value of data the public sector buys from the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, Land Registry and Companies House.

What this means in practice:
Delivering on its commitment to establish a Public Data Corporation, Government has announced the establishment of a Data Strategy Board (DSB) which will seek to maximise the value of data from the Public Data Group (PDG) of Trading Funds for long-term economic and social benefit, including through the release of data free of charge.

Sending a clear signal of the DSB’s mandate, Government is announcing the release of additional core reference datasets for unrestricted use from the PDG, including, for the first time, weather observation and detailed weather forecast data and core data from the Companies Register.

The PDG currently includes 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 and re-users of data and provide additional funding for making data freely available.

This change clearly separates the commissioning and provision functions of public data, rebalancing the incentives to release more data for free, as well as strengthening the capability of Government to commission data for its own needs.

This announcement signals a significant step towards making additional core reference data from the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, HM Land Registry and Companies House available and free at the point of use.

For further information on the wider announcement please see the following link:  http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/open-data-measures-growth-review

I do hope this is helpful and we will of course keep you informed of further progress.

There’s some more detail from page 10 of this PDF — sadly, though, nothing very substantial from Ordnance Survey.