Governments create joint taskforce aimed at boosting digital economy
The UK and France are to look at cooperating on open data as part of a joint Data Taskforce announced today.
Chancellor George Osborne and French economy minister Emmanuel Macron unveiled the plans with a claim that it could provide the basis for up to €60 billion (£42 million) in economic growth across the EU.
The taskforce will focus on three objectives, including increased cooperation between the UK and France on making government data available for public use.
Open data has been on the UK government’s agenda since the late 2000s, with a focus on allowing community developers and tech entrepreneurs more freedom to create new digital services with the data.
In June of last year, the government’s Open Policy Making Team reported on sharing lessons with the French government on open policy and data. It said that France has a similar record to the UK in developing and other tools using government data, and that it faces the same issues around transparency, privacy, the limits of government data and sharing with the people who want it.
France has been a member of the Open Government Partnership – the forum on standards and practices of which the UK is a founder member – since April 2014.
The task force will also look at establishing a set of principles for the use of data and data science by small and medium enterprises, and at how to provide consumers with more control and portability of their data. HM Treasury said the taskforce is due to report by the end of the year with recommendations on promoting greater competition between new entrants and established data-based service providers.
It highlighted the potential for SMEs, and said the taskforce would report on how to create frameworks for data to be shared internationally.
Osborne commented: “In the UK our digital industries contribute over £113 billion to the economy and this taskforce will consider ways to accelerate growth in this flourishing sector.”
Image by Carine06 from UK (Philippe Chatrier Court), Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons