back to article UK taxpayers spunk £8m on lubing civil servants for data release

Millions of pounds in taxpayers' cash will be spent on encouraging civil servants to reveal more facts and figures about the government's activities to the private sector. The Cabinet Office has announced two programmes, backed by an £8.35m pot, that Number 10 said “will help public bodies release data so that companies can …

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Anonymous Coward

Would this be like?

getting the facts and figures of my recent jobseekers claim faxed from the jobseekers enquiry centre to my local jobcentre in LESS THAN 4 DAYS, forgetting five minutes, this hour, today even. I've never heard of a modem that can keep a connection open for that long. Oh, and why do I want this information? Because they won't respond directly to an agency for "data protection" reasons..... so I can get a job.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds about right

£7.5m to the public sector to release information that people might want to know (or not).

£850k for the private sector to (maybe) do something with it.

Given that they use the FOI get outs to try and hide anything they don't want to release, how's throwing more millions at this going to make any difference?

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Anonymous Coward

"Given that they use the FOI get outs to try and hide anything they don't want to release, how's throwing more millions at this going to make any difference?"

It's going to make the consultants and lobbyists who have been pushing for "Open Data" very rich.

Next question?

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Big Brother

I sure hope people are paying their taxes.

Because otherwise the trough would be half-empty.

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Anonymous Coward

If I have learned anything...

What the government gives with one hand the other taketh away. Job vacancy data being a classic, technically it's available under the OGL but there's no official daily download and the DWP (or rather Monster Jobs who are running the show) get snotty with anyone copying the information by automated means.

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Anonymous Coward

business opportunity

£20k from the govt - this could be easy money!

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Silver badge

spunk ... lube ... release

jesus. Grow up.

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hang on a minute ..

This is public data held by publicly-funded bodies?

Why isn't it all in public domain already, and why aren't the officials who have failed to make it available before now either personally funding this from their own pockets/pensios, or merely sacked with loss of all pension and access to state benefits?

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Re: hang on a minute ..

"This is public data held by publicly-funded bodies?"

It doesn't publish itself for free. Some of the data may be commercially valuable. The interests of the taxpayer might be better served by selling the data, e.g. OS maps.

"Why isn't it all in public domain already, and why aren't the officials who have failed to make it available before now either personally funding this from their own pockets/pensios, or merely sacked with loss of all pension and access to state benefits?"

Why don't we let everyone in the country trawl through your working life until we find someone with a different opinion to you about how your work should have been done and use it to justify stripping you of all your income and assets, leaving you destitute under the nearest railway arch?

Just saying.

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Re: hang on a minute ..

It doesn't publish itself for free. Some of the data may be commercially valuable. The interests of the taxpayer might be better served by selling the data, e.g. OS maps.

Pah. By the time OS got their act together the world had knocked on the door, been ignored, and passed by. Although OS could have been a real money spinner, it hasn't been, and never will be now. Mind you, over at OS, increased government "business" is more than offsetting the slow but steady decline in private sector rrevenue, so they can pretend they make a profit.

Similarly, a highly valuable asset that taxpayer paid for (the postcode data) is at risk of being given away or otherwise buggered up by Post Office privatisation - you can be sure that government won't achieve a good outcome whether they retain it, or sell it. My money's on a really bad value deal that involves them selling the postcode IP for a pittance, and then being all surprised then the new owner dramatically hikes the charges for using the postcode address file, buggering up all forms of distribution, navigation and location based services.

Interesting to note that even the Graun was campaigning for public data like this to be released free as early as 2006.

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