UK Budget: Pricing Public Sector Information report

Buried deep in the small print of the UK Government budget statement today was the following interesting item:

“The Office of Fair Tradings (OFT) market study into the commercial use of public information highlighted important issues around access to public sector information for commercial or other re-use. The Government commissioned Cambridge University to analyse the pricing of this information. This analysis is published alongside Budget 2008. The Government will look closely at public sector information held by trading funds to distinguish more clearly what is required by Government for public tasks and ensure that this information next Spending Review the Government will ensure that information collected for public
purposes is priced so that the need for access is balanced with ensuring that customers pay a fair contribution to the cost of collecting this information in the long term. These issues will be considered in conjunction with the assessment of trading funds.”

This report with the rather catchy title “Models of Public Sector Information Provision via Trading Funds” by Prof David Newbery, Prof Lionel Bently, and Rufus Pollock from Cambridge University was published today and can be downloaded at

For those interested in the context there has been a long-running debate over pricing of data from some government agencies. The Guardian hosts a “Free Our Data” campaign blog which has a commentary on the Cambridge report and associated issues.

One Response to “UK Budget: Pricing Public Sector Information report”

  1. Kelly, on 11 Apr 2008 at 6:11 am

    It is one of things I can never understand … how people can think that way. It’s so illogical that it can only be based upon moronity.

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