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Cabinet Office finds £1.5m for open data



Leeds Data Mill, a project to provide data about public services in Leeds, is among the recipients of £1.5m of central government funding. Grants under the scheme, known as the Release of Data fund, have been announced by the Cabinet Office, which promised further funding "later this year".

Another recipient is the nationwide Local Authority Voucher Scheme will incentivise every local authority to release data on public conveniences, gritting, and planning in a standard format. Grants will also support training and procurement.

The minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said: "Open data is a raw material for economic growth, supporting the creation of new markets, business and jobs and helping us compete in the global race. To ensure this agenda continues to thrive, we are supporting a number of projects which will drive forward this culture of openness."

The Cabinet Office said the first round of funding supports both direct public data release projects and those that will build the capacity of public servants, paving the way for a culture change which will improve public data release in the years to come.

Projects allocated money are:

- Local Government Association Voucher Scheme: Proposal to unlock open data from local authorities by offering open data training vouchers for one data set, and
cash for three data sets. Proposal will allow local authority data to be made available.
- Leeds Data Mill: Proposal for Leeds city council to create a hub for data to support citizens by making data about public services freely available. Funding for future stages will be reviewed in due course.
- Legislative Openness: Proposal to make Department of Work and Pensions legislative data downloadable as bulk data. Proposal will bring UK in line with best practice on the Open Data Census.
- Data Issue Tracker: Proposal to implement a robust reporting mechanism to identify broken links on This proposal is expected to drive down data requests by 30%.
- Local Data Census: Proposal is a survey of the availability of open data at local and city level across the UK. The project will allow analysis of available data sets and identification of areas lacking data.
- Open Data Training for civil servants: Data courses to be provided for civil servants. This proposal will improve skill levels at handling data within the civil service, and will contribute towards a culture change towards being open by default. The £50,000 funding will enable 74 staff from government departments to attend courses run by the Open Data Institute.- Open data procurement training: Proposal to develop a range of materials, training and support about open data for all those involved with public procurement. £100,000 will be spent in training 120 procurement officers and producing an online guide.
- Housing Big Data: Proposal to create anonymised open data extracts of housing association data.


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