The data wants to be free
You have to pay for it some how
The government’s open-data policy has no proven benefits and could actually be costing taxpayers more than it’s worth. That’s the message from a National Audit Office report that tells Whitehall it’s time for some proper cost analysis on the policy of unloading vast data sets on the public. In the absence of such analysis …
All the data/info we supply on our site is available because it's an easy export from another piece of software. I've already posed the question that should we really be releasing data if the demand isn't there, data like this should be treated like a product, you wouldn't produce it if the costs were prohibitive and the audience wasn't there to use it.
The NAO has just told the Cabinet Office a blunter version of what most of the Government Departments have already told them. "We are meant to be shedding staff and in the meantime we are meant to be putting more data out there. Which is it?"
Just another example of incoherent policies. It is all very noble having more data for the public and business to use, but when Government is hopeless inept at properly managing IT and at the same time savagely cutting down the workforce, you end up pulling people and resources away from the primary jobs such as actually delivering a service, crap as it may be at times...
Other countries have led the way, not the UK. Why not release the most useful data sets of all including PAF (the Royal Mail address database) and OS (much more than their token gesture). It would cost nothing to release the data because it already exists. Although I'm not sure how the maintenance of it would be funded if their revenue stream is culled.
"Why not release the most useful data sets of all including PAF..."
because that's the only thing of any value in the Post Office business, and given the track record of giving away state owned assets at bargain prices, you'd have to assume the plan is to give away all rights and IP for PAF as part of the package.
We'll be left with the vast unfunded pension liabilities to pay out of taxes, the service will remain as crap and more expensive than ever, and the new owners will shaft every user of PAF, putting a couple of extra quid on just about every bill you pay.
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