A key piece of legislation affecting the use of public sector information is the European Directive on the Re-use of Public Sector Information. This is perhaps not the most widely known piece of law but is critical in that it places a duty on EU governments to create national policy on public data re-use. The European Commission (EC) describes the Directive’s objectives as:
It sets minimum rules for the re-use of PSI throughout the European Union. In its recitals it encourages Member States to go beyond these minimum rules and to adopt open data policies, allowing a broad use of documents held by public sector bodies.
The UK Government set up an Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI) as part of its process of implementing this Directive.
The Advisory Panel is currently drafting a submission to the EC in response to a review of the Directive that it is carrying out. The outcome of this review could have a major impact on the legal framework for public sector information in the UK so is of great significance to the Power of Information agenda.
Richard Allan, Task Force Chair