Open Data in the Public Sector

Paul Byers made this Freedom of Information request to Welsh Government

The request was partially successful.

From: Paul Byers

Dear Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru,

Last week Monmouthshire County Council adopted the Open Government Licence

http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/news/art...
.

This was their first step in becoming an ‘open data’ authority and changing the balance of scorecards for the Welsh public sector like the one produced by Openly Local -

http://openlylocal.com/councils/open?cou... .

I would like to ask:

1. Has the Welsh Government considered its own position on ‘Open Data'?

2. If so, what were the details of any such consideration, and were any plans made?

3. If plans have been made, what steps are being considered and in what timeframe?

4. If not, what was the reasoning against?

5. Who would be an appropriate contact to take this discussion further?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Byers

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From: Campbell-Lawrence, Rachael (PPCS - IRU)
Welsh Government


Attachment e Information guide WAG Publication Scheme final English document.pdf
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Dear Mr Byers,

Thank you for your enquiry.

The Welsh Government has for many years been committed to maximising
openness in government through the commitments set out in its Code of
Practice on Access to Information which include:

* The principles guiding our approach to open government;
* The principles under which we will publish information or make it
available on request;
* The circumstances in which we may withhold information. 

A copy of the Code can be accessed from the following link
[1]http://wales.gov.uk/publications/accessi...

In addition the Welsh Government complies with a Publication Scheme which
can accessed from the following link:
[2]http://wales.gov.uk/publications/publica... This
is supplemented by the attached Information Guide which provides
signposting to the information within the seven classes referred to in the
Publication Scheme.

<<_e_ Information guide WAG Publication Scheme final English
document.pdf>>
The Information Commissioner's Office  (ICO) is currently consulting on
the revision of its model publication scheme and  proposes to make interim
updates to the definition documents for other parts of the public sector
by July 2012.  The Welsh Government plans to review its Publication Scheme
in the third quarter of 2012 to incorporate any new guidance issued by the
ICO.

If you have any queries in relation to the Welsh Government's Code of
Practice on Access to Information please contact the [3]Freedom of
Information Officer mailbox.  If you have any queries in relation to the
Publication Scheme and the licences we use to publish information please
contact:

Library and Archive Service
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

email: [email address]

Telephone:
•       English: 0300 0603300 or 0845 010 3300
•       Welsh: 0300 0604400 or 0845 010 4400
•       International enquiry number: (+44) 1443 845500

Yours sincerely,

Rachael Campbell-Lawrence

Rachael Campbell-Lawrence
Department for People, Places and Corporate Services / Pobl, Lleoedd a
Gwasanaethau Corfforaethol
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru
Cathays Park / Parc Cathays
Cardiff / Caerdydd CF10 3NQ
Tel - Ffôn: 029 2082 3356

show quoted sections

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From: Paul Byers

Dear Campbell-Lawrence, Rachael (PPCS - IRU),

Thank you for your reply to my FOI request, and for the embedded hyperlinks, which I found useful, although I must admit to have been already aware of points you made.

I think we are at cross-purposes and, maybe because I haven’t made myself clear about my use of the term ‘Open Data’, I feel your response doesn’t address the issues I raise particularly well.

I am using ‘open data’ in the same way as the recent UK Government consultation ‘Making Open Data Real’ and the areas covered by the UK Cabinet’s Public Sector Transparency Board. This has more reference to datasets and digital engagement,rather than your emphasis on publications under the Freedom of Information Act, and is more in tune with the European Commission’s move towards adopting measures for an open data strategy.

In order to move this request along and, hopefully, make it a bit clearer, may I now ask you to provide me with any inventories you have of the datasets held by the different Divisions of the Welsh Government?

Thanks in advance for any advice and assistance you are able to provide.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: CSOT - FOI/DP
Welsh Government


Attachment ATISN 5648 acknowledgement.doc
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Dear Mr Byers

Further to your request for information, please find attached an
acknowledgement letter sent on behalf of Rachael Campbell-Lawrence.

Yours sincerely

Stephen
Stephen Downs
Business Information Manager / Rheolwr Gwybodaeth Busnes
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau’r Gwasanaethau
Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

Phone / Ffôn : 02920 826901
E-mail / E-bost: [email address]

i iShare user / defnyddiwr iShare

<<ATISN 5648 acknowledgement.doc>>

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

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From: CSOT - FOI/DP
Welsh Government


Attachment ATISN 5648 Disclosure.doc
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Dear Mr Byers

Please find attached a final response to your recent freedom of
information request, sent on behalf of Rachael Campbell-Lawrence (Deputy
Head of Information Rights Unit.)

Yours sincerely 

Stacey Harris
<<ATISN 5648 - Disclosure.doc>>
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau’r Gwasanaethau
Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

Phone / Ffôn : 02920 821653
E-mail / E-bost: [email address]

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

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Paul Staples left an annotation ()

Suggest yiou ask for a review, based on the fact that they do not appear to have offered any advice and assistance (which they have a duty to do) as to what info they could provide within the costs limit. Whilst the links provided are some assistance they have not done all they could. They must have some idea which depts are most likely to have info, or could e.g. offer to ask the 20 largest departments.

Link to this

From: Paul Byers

Dear CSOT - FOI/DP,

Thank you for your latest response to my FOI request and for the time and effort you’ve put into its preparation.

I note that you have decided not to proceed with creating one inventory of Welsh Government datasets as you estimate this will exceed your £600 limit. I am surprised, partly because I had not asked for this, only for ‘any inventories you have’ but also because I had thought you would be considering your position in the light of the recent launch of the Open Data Strategy for Europe by the European Commission.

(http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesActi... )

However, I will work from the actual response you have made and see if I’m able to secure a workable inventory of datasets from within your costs limits.

I will, therefore, refocus and limit my request to:

1. a specific geographical area – the electoral ward of Cathays in Cardiff and its nine Local Super Output Areas (LSOA) and

2. the content of any datasets that relate to the movement profile (travel and transport) aspects which affect this area.

I ask that you provide me with:

1. a list of all the divisions within the Welsh Government which are likely to hold datasets meeting these two criteria

2. a catalogue of any datasets which they are known to hold, preferably with a brief description, indicating which are available online in machine-readable format and which have SPARQL endpoints defined.

Thank you in advance for any help, advice and assistance you are able to provide.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: Jenkins, Jamie Michael (CSOT - Business Management)
Welsh Government


Attachment ATISN 5721 Disclosure.doc
211K Download View as HTML


<<ATISN 5721 - Disclosure.doc>>
Dear Mr Byers

Further to your recent request for information, please find attached a
final disclosure letter (sent on behalf of Mr James Owen, Deputy Director,
Expert Services).

Yours sincerely

Jamie

Jamie Jenkins
Information Manager / Rheolwr Gwybodaeth
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau’r Gwasanaethau
Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

Link to this

From: Paul Byers

Dear Jenkins, Jamie Michael (CSOT - Business Management),

Thank you for your latest response to my ongoing FOI request. Once again you have surprised me when you report that the Welsh Government, as a significant source of transport funding in the area and the operator of a large office complex in the electoral ward, does not have any information that affects the movement profile of Cathays.

I’m sure that the key to this is the way I’m framing the question. I’ll start this time by looking at the involvement, particularly financial, that the Welsh Government has with the three rail stations in Cathays (Central, Queen Street and Cathays).

1. How is the Government, or its predecessors, involved with the development and operation of these rail links?

2. What have been the issues being addressed?

3. How will the Government know that the desired effects have been secured, who will be better off and in what way?

Secondly, I’d like to look at the Cathays Park complex.

1. Does a travel plan exist and how does a member of the public gain sight of it?

2. What issues are addressed and in what way?

3. What measures are being used to show improvements?

Again, I thank you in advance for any response, advice or assistance you are able to offer.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: Paul Byers

Dear Jenkins, Jamie Michael (CSOT - Business Management),

I have not yet received a response to the requests for information I sent on 3rd February.

Can you let me know what the position is with these?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: Jenkins, Jamie Michael (CSOT - Business Management)
Welsh Government

Dear Mr Bryers

Your request has been passed to my colleagues in the Transport Division as they hold/lead on the areas of information that you have requested.

I placed a request to colleagues yesterday to establish the latest with gathering information in line with parts 3 - 6 of your request and am awaiting their response.

I hope to be able to provide you with a final response (on behalf of Transport colleagues shortly - in the event they do not directly respond to you). My apologies for the delay in providing you with this update.

Yours sincerely

Jamie

Jamie Jenkins

show quoted sections

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From: Paul Byers

Dear Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru's handling of my FOI request 'Open Data in the Public Sector'.

This request has been running since early November of last year, and, after a period of exchanges to clarify terms, you first respond that you hold suitable information but that it would be too expensive to collate, then, when I try re-focus the request so that it was restricted enough for you to consider it as manageable, you respond that you have nothing appropriate within that area.

When I write back in February with suggestions of areas to investigate, including a specific enquiry about the existence of a travel plan for your Cathays Park office, I hear nothing, not even an acknowledgement, until I send a reminder to you on 7th March.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/op...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: CSOT - FOI/DP
Welsh Government


Attachment ATISN 5648 complaint letter.doc
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Dear Mr Byers

Further to your recent complaint regarding the disclosure of information
for ATISN 5648 and ATISN 5721, please find attached a response sent on
behalf of Peter Kennedy, Director, People - PPCS

Stephen Downs
Business Information Manager / Rheolwr Gwybodaeth Busnes
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau’r Gwasanaethau
Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

Phone / Ffôn : 02920 826901
E-mail / E-bost: [email address]

i iShare user / defnyddiwr iShare

<<ATISN 5648 - complaint letter.doc>>

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

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From: Paul Byers

Dear CSOT - FOI/DP,

Thank you for your reply to my request for an internal review.

Before I consider whether to make a more detailed response, can I ask you to explain your second paragraph? You state 'Firstly, I trust that the information you received from Mr Jamie Jenkins on 16th March 2012, satisfactorily addressed your latest request.' I have no record of having received any such correspondence and it is certainly not logged on the 'What Do they Know' website.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: CSOT - FOI/DP
Welsh Government


Attachment Letter to Mr Byers.doc
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Good morning Mr Byers

Whilst we are attempting to recover the original E-mail, the attached is the letter dated 16th March.

Apologies if this document did not reach you originally.

Yours sincerely

Stephen
Stephen Downs
Business Information Manager / Rheolwr Gwybodaeth Busnes
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau'r Gwasanaethau Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

Phone / Ffôn : 02920 826901
E-mail / E-bost: [email address]

i iShare user / defnyddiwr iShare

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Paul Byers

Dear CSOT - FOI/DP,

Thank you for your report on the internal review you recently undertook on my behalf.

I have spent some time thinking about whether to take up the issues you raise, and the points you miss, through the processes available under the Act, or instead, to follow up on your statement that there will be an alternative channel for requests that the Welsh Government considers to fall outside the FOI scope.

I know I could have used this forum to discuss further such themes as whether the treatment of ATISN 5648 and ATISN 5721 were really that satisfactory or what is the most useful definition of a record, but I think it would make more sense and be a better use of peoples’ time and effort if we find a new mechanism as you suggest.

So – can I return to my fifth question in my original request last November, namely ‘Who would be an appropriate contact to take this discussion further? I do so now not only in the context of the European Commission and UK Cabinet Office initiatives that I have quoted in previous exchanges but also in the light of the Welsh Government’s own recent consultation document ‘Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery’, particularly Chapter 4 – Building a Robust Evidence Base.

As further background for whoever is put forward to contact me, I should add that this whole exercise has been motivated by a desire to build up a knowledge base about the Cathays electoral ward, partly as a pilot for more such hyper-local approaches, and is being led by Connect Cathays, a small third sector body with two main aims:

1. to connect residents and visitors in a geographically-defined area as a community, as an aim in its own right - tied in with psychological aspects of well-being, and

2. to provide a facility that will enable people to collaborate in reaching evidence-based judgements, leading on to transparent collective decision-making.

The tasks involved have been made a great deal easily recently with a successful bid for funds to cover the setup and hosting costs of a wiki, which will use Semantic Mediawiki Plus open source software. This finance has been made available through the Cardiff South East Neighbourhood Management Team within the context of Cardiff’s ‘What Matters’ strategy and the Cardiff Integrated Partnership, of which the Welsh Government is a member.

With all this in mind, on behalf of Connect Cathays and myself, I look forward to my next contact from the Welsh Government.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

Link to this

From: CSOT - FOI/DP
Welsh Government


Attachment ATISN 5648 Complaint disclosure follow up correspondence.doc
200K Download View as HTML


<<ATISN 5648 - Complaint disclosure (follow up correspondence).doc>>

Dear Mr Byers

Further to your recent correspondence, please find attached a letter
providing you with the contract details for Mr James Owen.  As indicated
in the letter, Mr Owen will be able to discuss with you, the position
regarding Open Government and Access to Information.

Yours sincerely

Jamie

Jamie Jenkins
Information Manager / Rheolwr Gwybodaeth
Central Services Operations Team / Tîm Gweithrediadau’r Gwasanaethau
Canolog
Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru

Phone / Ffôn : 02920 821578
E-mail / E-bost: [email address]

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

Link to this

From: Paul Byers

Dear CSOT - FOI/DP,

Thank you. This is very much appreciated

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Welsh Government only: