Our response to the Digital Economy Bill

Last week I gave oral evidence to the Digital Economy Bill Scrutiny committee in the House of Commons. It was a joint session with Jeni Tennison CEO of the Open Data Institute (ODI) and a member of our Digital Advisory Board.

You can watch the full session on Parliament Live or read Hansard.

We support the sentiment behind the Bill, there’s much to applaud in it. But it’s really important that Government embodies the principles of open access to public data, with strong and transparent operational processes in place. This is a commercial issue because of the extra friction of duplicate and inconsistent public data. For us it’s also a member data issue, in terms of access, privacy and trust.

We need registers to do this. Sharing of data between different areas within Government has the potential to worsen the current situation.

I talked about radical transparency at our AGM. We should all be able to see where and how Government shares data.

We’ll continue to monitor the progress of this Bill in the weeks and months ahead.

Mike Bracken

Chief Digital Officer

Linda Humphries joins CoopDigital

I’m really happy to say that Linda Humphries will be joining CoopDigital next week. Linda is an amazing advocate of collaboration and co-operation, notably in the world of open standards for the public sector.

Linda Humpries
Linda Humphries Image by Government Technology Blog.  Under Open Government Licence https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
She has spent the last 15 years working in a variety of roles for the Government, most recently leading the open standards team for GDS. You can read about this her recent blog post. She’ll join CoopDigital as Business Manager – she’ll be vital in making sure we keep doing the right things. Being from the North West I’m sure she’ll be happy with a much shorter commute then her current trip to Brussels.

A wise man said recently, that it’s not what people say when you arrive but when you leave that matters. Such was the scale of Linda’s achievements that she received the following commendations when announcing her departure:

“While the media celebrates one hot new application after another, standards are the unsung hero of the internet. Its key innovation was that it defined how applications communicate, not what they do.  This was the secret source (and secret sauce) by which it unleashed an entrepreneurial boom.

Standards are also a key part of the open government revolution. And in this regard, Linda Humphries is an unsung hero of Government standards. She has painstakingly brought Governments into the open, leaving the British system a far more transparent and equitable system.

While the UK Government Digital Service will miss her, I’m delighted that she will continue to put her prodigious talents to work for the people of the UK via the Cooperative Group, one of the oldest cooperative societies in the world, helping to bring its offerings into the 21st century.” Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Media

“…an inspiration to thousands of people in the US and around the world who care about making government work better.” Jen Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America

​Welcome, Linda.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer