2016-18 Open Government Action Plan: July 2017 Commitment Progress Updates
Update of progress on 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan commitments prepared by the UK Government.
Commitment 1: Beneficial ownership
The government has met the first milestone under this commitment by consulting, through a call for evidence, on proposals for a new beneficial ownership register of overseas companies that own UK property or participate in UK government procurement. This concluded in May 2017. The government is now considering the responses and next steps.
Commitment 2: Natural resource transparency
There has been good progress against milestones one and two. For milestone three, DFID introduced a new OECD-hosted international dialogue on transparency in commodity trading in June 2017. We will work up a programme with the OECD and Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) for a policy event hosted by OECD on Commodity Trading transparency in December 2017. We are in the process of agreeing the terms of reference.
Commitment 3: Anti-corruption strategy
The government is working on a new Anti-Corruption Strategy which will be published in due course. We continue to consult with a wide ranging group of stakeholders on the strategy, including civil society, business and departments and agencies across government.
Commitment 4: Anti-corruption innovation hub
The development of the Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub has been slower than expected due to the difficulty of contracting a consultant to support GDS on developing the Hub as set out according to the original terms of reference. Officials will be working with new ministers and officials from across government on plans to deliver the Hub.
Commitment 5: Open contracting
UK Government has set up a Showcase and Learning Project with the Open Contracting Partnership in relation to implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard in the Crown Commercial Service (CCS)’s operations. CCS data from Contracts Finder is being published in the OCDS format covering the procurement process from alerting the market to future CCS opportunities, through early engagement, to advert and award, including publication of the associated contract and tender documents. Guidance and links to the data are available here.
Commitment 6: Grants data
Working with users across government, the Grants Efficiency Function in the Cabinet Office have designed and built the Government Grants Information System (GGIS) to capture cross-government data on government grants. Since the system’s launch in 2016, we have been working with departments to upload more granular level data to the GGIS, and to close any gaps which exist between scheme and award level data, the focus is currently on 2016/17.
We have made good progress and departments have now begun to upload grants data covering the 2017/18 financial year. The GGIS was designed to collect and share data internally to government, however, we remain committed to publishing better quality data in 2017. Data for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years will be published on gov.uk, to 360giving standards, by the Autumn.
Commitment 7: Elections data
The elections data standard has been selected as a standard that is being assessed by the Government’s Standards Hub. The LGA will be conducting further tests of the standard with local councils. Progress has been somewhat stalled by the local and general elections. However, the Cabinet Office will be working with Electoral Management Systems suppliers in the coming months to explore how new import and export processes can be added to commercial electoral systems.
Commitment 8: Freedom of information
The Government will consult on proposals for a new FOI Code of Practice shortly. Stakeholder input will be integral to finalising the Code before publication.
Commitment 9: Identifying and publishing core data assets
There has been progress in developing a linked ecosystem of trusted, resilient and accessible canonical data stores (registers). There are now 13 registers in the beta stage of development. As well as the country register, this includes registers for English and Scottish local authorities, government organisations and territories. There are a number of other registers in the discovery and alpha stages of development. There has also been work to develop a better understanding of the data discovery needs of users of data.gov.uk. The site recently passed the alpha service assessments for work on improving publishing and making it easier to find data.
Commitment 10: Involving data users in shaping the future of open data
GDS has had a more visible presence at open data community events such as the fourth Open Data Camp which it sponsored. It regularly attends semi-structured events at the ODI lunchtime lectures or Meet-ups (such as Open Data for Development) to interact with the community. On a daily basis it interacts with individual data requestors on data.gov.uk to help them source public sector open data. GDS engaged extensively with open data users in the Open Knowledge Forums during the exercise to create the current Global Open Data Index.
Commitment 11: Better use of data assets
Good progress, especially in developing the skills of analysts and non-specialist policy staff. First cross-government data science conference held; data science accelerator trained two cohorts of analysts; data science campus building capability in data science for statistics established at the Office for National Statistics; new senior data advisory board convened to oversee a portfolio of cross-government projects around data-enabled transformation. After having obtained Royal Assent for the Digital Economy Act 2017 on 27 April 2017, in order to fully implement the Part 5 (“Digital Government”) provisions, work is underway to develop further four Codes of Practice and a set of regulations in respect of the Public Service Delivery power.
Commitment 12: GOV.UK
The first milestone is complete. The second is complete and we continue to do work in these areas. We have created new navigation patterns, which we are rolling out with education content first, and have made significant progress transforming content and grouping it into coherent themes based on terms users use and understand. We are also exploring the needs of users who hold government to account, and are investigating what improvements we can make. The second two milestones are on track. We are scoping the work involved in providing a supported API for government content and are on track to do this. We have finished a discovery into providing a full version history for pages on GOV.UK and will return to this work in quarter three.
Commitment 13: Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform
The Cabinet Office and the Open Government Network have been working together to identify new commitments which could be added to the current National Action Plan, and the fourth National Action Plan (NAP). OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) have informed us that commitments added in the second year of the plan cannot be included in the IRM assessments. We will therefore look to include any proposed commitments into the fourth NAP.