The Government published an update to it’s business plans today. The idea that a government has a business plan that pulls together all of its initiatives and targets and monitors progress seems quite refreshing and open. This document tracks changes in the plan which is very useful for monitoring progress. It looks as if there is quite a bit of slippage in the plans for the Public Data Corporation.
Have a look at 2.6.i and 2.6.ii in the Cabinet Office section. The establishment of the PDC has been put back from April to December 2011, while the lead responsibility has been transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
It could be pointless to speculate about the reasons behind these changes but since it’s a Friday afternoon, let’s have a bit of speculation.
Firstly the transfer of leadership from the Cabinet office to BIS.That looks as if the tussle over whether PDC was a vehicle for more efficiently exploiting government data assets or making more public data public on easy to understand and reuse terms has been resolved in favour of the Treasury and deficit reduction.
The delay till the end of the year could well indicate that someone has woken up to the fact that this is not a trivial exercise, particularly if you have privatisation or some other commercial model in mind
Alternatively it could just be that the PDC is little more than a an idea that has no substance yet and BIS will need a fair amount of time to work out what they are meant to be doing.
Conspiracy or cock up?