UK Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information

November 1, 2006

London, 31 October 2006

Following the merger of the National Archives and The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) on 31 October 2006, the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI) will now advise Ministers at the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) rather than the Cabinet Office.

APPSI, currently a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Cabinet Office, advises Ministers on information policy issues that will encourage and create opportunities for greater re-use of public sector information. One of APPSI's key messages to government is that there needs to be greater coherence on the collection, maintenance and dissemination of public sector information. With effective information management and knowledge management systems across the public sector, there will be greater scope to re-use information in ways that benefit society.

In welcoming APPSI to the DCA, Lord Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, said: "Professor Richard Susskind and members of APPSI play a very important role in raising awareness of the importance and value of public sector information. Between 15 and 25 per cent of commercial information products and services are based on information held by the public sector. I look forward to working closely with APPSI and receiving advice on how we can create new opportunities for re-using public information more widely."

Professor Richard Susskind OBE, the Chair of APPSI said: "I welcome the transfer of APPSI to DCA and look forward to engaging its Ministers on the important subject of the re-use of public sector information. It makes sense for us now to be advising DCA directly, given the department's related responsibilities for freedom of information and The National Archives. This move wisely brings the preservation of public information, access to information and the re-use of information under the one departmental umbrella, as it were."

Following its transfer to the DCA, APPSI will continue to advise the Director of OPSI about changes and opportunities in the information industry on matters relating to the licensing of Crown copyright information and re-use of public sector information. It will also review and consider complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. More information on the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information is available on its website http://www.appsi.gov.uk

2. The Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information is a Non-Departmental Public Body, established on 14 April 2003.

Its role is:

* To advise Ministers on how to encourage and create opportunities in the information industry for greater re-use of public sector information;

* To advise the Director of the Office of Public Sector Information and Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office about changes and opportunities in the information industry, so that the licensing of Crown copyright and public sector information is aligned with current and emerging developments;

* To review and consider complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 and advise on the impact of the complaints procedures under those regulations.

3. APPSI currently has 17 members, including the Chair and Deputy Chair. The Chair is Professor Richard Susskind OBE and the Deputy Chair, Peter Wienand.

Department for Constitutional Affairs
News release 5/06
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