GDS Lead Becomes First Ever Government CDO

Mar 27, 2015

The government has appointed its first ever chief data officer (CDO), Mike Bracken, who is also executive director of digital for the Cabinet Office and heads the Government Digital Service (GDS).

In his new role as CDO, Bracken will be responsible for developing a new Government Data Standard, championing open data and encouraging the use of data in decision making processes.

He will also take the lead on developing greater data analysis skills and capability across government.

“I’m delighted to announce that Mike Bracken who has spearheaded this government’s digital revolution with also become the government’s CDO,” claimed Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.

“He is the ideal person to take our already world-leading approach to open data even further, while strengthening data analysis skills in Whitehall,” Maude added.

Local Government Open Data Champions

The CDO announcement was made alongside the news that sixteen local and regional authorities have set high standards in open data and transparency.

Maude has recognised these local government bodies as Open Data Champions and they recently took part in a roundtable event to explore the role of open data in the ‘local authority of the future.’

According to the government, the Champions are putting data back into the hands of citizens and communities, creating more opportunities for innovation, economic and social growth and better public services.

The Open Data Champions are Barnet, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Glasgow, Hampshire, Lambeth, Leeds, London, Manchester, Windsor and Maidenhead, Redbridge, Sunderland, Surrey and Trafford.

Transparency In Whitehall

The Minister for the Cabinet Office has also launched two sets of principles to improve the transparency of government contracts.

All central government Departments must follow the principles, which set a presumption in favour of disclosure, encouraging greater consideration of the information that should be made available when government contracts with a supplier.

The only information that should be withheld is that which would genuinely affect a supplier’s or the government’s commercial position.

The expectation of greater transparency and openness extends to Whitehall’s biggest suppliers, which will now be asked to provide revenue and margin information on the government contracts they hold over a value threshold.

“Transparency is an idea whose time has come. Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth and inform choice over public services,” claimed Maude.

“The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective for public services – and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness.

“These Open Data Champions are another way we are placing transparency at the heart of our long-term economic plan,” he added.


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