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.