Government explains Berners-Lee role

11 Jun 2009 View Comments
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Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee will help open up government information

The government has laid out more details on the exact role that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web, will fulfill in helping the state become more transparent.

Gordon Brown announced the appointment yesterday, saying: "So that government information is accessible and useful for the widest possible group of people, I have asked Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who led the creation of the worldwide web, to help us drive the opening up of access to government data in the web over the coming months."

Further reading

Berners-Lee will serve in an advisory capacity to Cabinet Office minister Tessa Jowell to oversee the implementation of five key recommendations of the Power of Information review:

  • Overseeing the creation of a single online point of access for all public UK datasets, with a live Beta test site running by the end of the year
  • Developing common standards for the release of data and overhauling the licensing regime
  • Driving the use of the internet to improve government consultation processes
  • Promoting international data sharing
  • Helping to drive culture change in Whitehall towards an assumption of total publication for anonymous data using open standards

He will work closely with the Office for Public Sector Information (part of The National Archives), the Technology Strategy Board, and Andrew Stott, the recently appointed director for digital engagement.

"I am delighted to be working with Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his panel on this key part of the Power of Information agenda; they will provide the expert challenge and insight we need to drive action across the public sector," said Stott.

Jowell added: "From the performance of a local school to the most recent statistics on crime, we need to make sure that people have the facts they need to make informed choices and hold public services to account."

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