2016-18 Open Government Action Plan: February 2017 Commitment Progress Updates
Update of progress on 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan commitments prepared by the UK Government.
Please note, due to the publication of updates in December 2016, we have only changed the language here if significant changes or progress have been made.
- Commitment 1: Beneficial ownership – The Government remains committed to delivering this policy and is currently developing the detail of how the register will work prior to issuing a call for evidence in the coming months. We plan to bring forward legislation on the register when Parliamentary time allows. The proposal is that the register will apply across the UK. This is important to ensure that control of companies owning land is transparent wherever in the UK the land is. However, Scotland and Northern Ireland have different land registration requirements to England and Wales. This makes the drafting of the legislation more complex. The Government therefore believes it is important to spend time to get the policy and its implementation correct and to consult on the policy before legislating.
- Commitment 2: Natural resource transparency – There has been good progress against milestones 1 and 2. For milestone 3, the ambition remains unchanged but the timetable is delayed. There is an ongoing dialogue with the OECD in preparation for them hosting and convening the dialogue. We will agree the terms of reference for the trading dialogue before the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy is published.
- Commitment 3: Anti-corruption strategy – Following the Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016, we have held wide-ranging and detailed stakeholder engagement sessions with civil society, business and departments and agencies across government. We are now engaged in preparing and drafting the strategy document and establishing clearance processes. Publication has slipped into 2017, due to the wider UK government changes in the second half of this year.
- Commitment 4: Anti-corruption innovation hub – We have made progress over the six months, and will put the hub into operation in early 2017. A wide group of external stakeholders including business, civil society and researchers have been engaged, and the UK will continue to drive the hub forward.
- Commitment 5: Open contracting – UK Government has set up a Showcase and Learning Project with the Open Contracting Partnership in relation to the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS)’s operations. CCS data from Contracts Finder will be published in the OCDS format covering the procurement process from alerting the market to future CCS opportunities, to early engagement, to advert and award including publication of the associated contract and tender documents.
- Commitment 6: Grants data – As part of the Grants Efficiency Function, we have designed and built the Government Grants Information System (GGIS). We have been working with departments to upload more granular level data onto the GGIS since its launch in March 2016. We have made good progress with departments and we are on track to have a majority of expected data uploaded by April 2017. The GGIS was designed to collect and share data internally to government however we remain committed to publish better quality and more granular data in 2017.
- Commitment 7: Elections data – Project has made good progress to date and is broadly on track. During the six month period, there has been wide and open consultation with public and private elections and data experts to develop a first version of a new data standard that is published but not yet deployed. We have secured participation and commitment from key stakeholders to support the initiative and to extend their tools, services and promotion channels to encourage take-up next year. Local authorities have limited capacity and resources and are unlikely to be able to participate unless the process can be made simple. Progress now depends on introducing new import and export processes to commercial electoral systems. Suppliers have indicated willingness to participate but require modest funding to be available to underwrite their development costs. This funding has not been identified.
- Commitment 8: Freedom of information – Work is underway on the scope and content of a new section 45 Code of Practice.
- Commitment 9: Identifying and publishing core data assets – Good progress, in particular work developing a linked system of canonical datastores (registers). Building on the success of the country register, other registers at different stages of development include schools in England, territories and addresses.
- Commitment 10: Involving data users in shaping the future of open data – A positive and solid start building on existing contacts and developing new ones to improve the management and use of data assets. To support these activities, GDS has appointed a full time open data engagement lead.
- Commitment 11: Better use of data assets – Generally good progress, for example in developing the skills of government data analysts and in assisting general policy and operational staff across government to understand analytical approaches. However, machinery of government changes in the summer have led to delays in publishing departmental data plans.
- Commitment 12: GOV.UK – All milestones have been completed or are on track. We successfully completed our discovery into digital consultations in advance of our September deadline and have made significant progress in joining together related content and transactions as coherent services. We are now in a position to prioritise work in our roadmap for 2017/18 and will continue to review the milestones.
- Commitment 13: Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform – A good foundation has been established, including with a joint statement of how government and civil society will work together. Cabinet Office, OGN and others are continuing to collaborate on identifying new commitments to add to the National Action Plan.