ICO: Tell us what data should be public

Information Commissioner is looking fo tind out what citizens want to know about how a council or government department operates

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a campaign calling for citizens to suggest what data public bodies should publish proactively.

The call is in line with the government's transparency and open data agenda, which has led to the 'midata' initative, to give people more access to the personal data that businesses hold about them in an electronic format.

Together, the initiatives indicate a trend for transparency that could spread to the private sector, and raise questions about what information businesses might be compelled to publish in future.

The ICO's new 'Tell Me More' campaign is taking place at the same time as its consultation on what should go into publication schemes. These documents will set out what information a public authority will publish about how it works.

Steve Wood, head of policy delivery at the ICO, said: "Tell Me More' is an opportunity for the public to tell us what they want to know upfront about their local council or a government department.

"Of course, people can make FOI (Freedom of Information) requests for information - but publication schemes are about ensuring that the most requested information is already out there for all to see."

Information that public authorities already publish include financial information, organisational information, major policy decisions, procurements and contracts and minutes from senior management-level meetings.

The survey can be accessed here.

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