The Open Data Institute (ODI), an organisation that promotes open data culture, has claimed that open data will play a key role in any future UK government.
The organisation claims to have made a few key findings while reading each political party’s manifestos for the upcoming General Election.
In its manifesto, the Labour Party claims that it will commit to ‘open data by default’ as part of its vision for a more inclusive, transparent and accountable digital government.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party says it will continue the approach to promoting open data it has already taken during its time within the Coalition and the Liberal Democrats claim they will release government data sets that can facilitate growth in open and accessible formats.
However, the chair of the ODI Sir Nigel Shadbolt has warned against UK government complacency when it comes to open data.
According to Sir Shadbolt, the main party manifestos simply reflect an awareness of open data, rather than going into detail on how open data publication and use will be advanced if they were to win government.
Despite these concerns the ODI believes that ultimately, the manifestos contain a lot of information that is positive for open data.
It claims almost all manifestos mentions the importance of publishing more information to help government make decisions and improve transparency and accountability.
The organisation also says that significant progress been made over the past ten years – manifestos in 2005 did not mention open data at all, while the 2010 manifestos held only vague references to opening up information to the public.
For the 2015 General Election, all parties say they are committed to publishing more information covering public procurements, overseas tax and company details, healthcare, crime and education, energy, diversity, food, gender pay gaps, defence spending and land ownership.
The ODI has claimed that its own job is to draw the link between ‘more public available information’ and open data.
It says over the next 12 months is will promote open data to the new government and highlight how its application can help solve social, environmental and economic challenges.