Crowdsourcing the UK's Freedom of Information Act

The Guardian reports, "The [British] government has launched an open consultation on the guidance that public authorities will use to enhance the right to data in the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. These provisions, covering the re-use of data and the form in which it is made available, are expected to come into force in April 2013, and – delivering on a commitment in the open data white paper – we are opening up the process of developing the guidance to the public. The white paper presented clear actions to strengthen people's access to data, improve its usability and ensure that its full potential for economic and social growth is unleashed."

The article continues, "Enhancing the right to data is a key driver of our transparency agenda, so the government has amended the FoI Act to ensure that public authorities publish datasets for re-use and in a re-useable format, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude… The National Archives has published the licence in beta form and is inviting comments on whether its simplified terms and conditions meet the requirements of both licensors and re-users, as well as feedback on what it should be called. Any views on the beta licence should be sent to the Information Policy Team at the National Archives at We want as many people as possible to get involved in the code of practice (datasets) consultation and help us refine this important guidance. Of course, we are still open to receiving your comments by email. The consultation runs until 10 January 2013."

Learn more here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ James Cridland