Published on October 10, 2013

How can open data make government more accountable and democratic? Our evidence to PASC

Open government

By Tim Hughes

Tim is Involve's incoming director, taking over from 21st January 2017. Tim has led campaigns and advocacy on open government; advised national, devolved and local governments, civil society organisations and multilateral institutions; and researched and written on topics including public participation, open government, democratic reform, civil society advocacy and public administration.

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) have published our written evidence to its inquiry into ‘Statistics and open data‘. Our evidence scrutinises the link between open data, and transparency, accountability and democracy, based on our research and understanding of participation and governance.

Specifically, we argue that if open data is to support enhanced accountability and democracy, government needs to look beyond “getting the data out” to building the necessary support for its widespread use:

[O]pen data is often seen within the specific frame of transparency, but if its potential benefits of open, accountable and democratic government are to be reaped, it must also be considered within a frame of participation. As such, the Government must focus considerably more attention on supporting citizens and civil society to engage with the data it releases.

Let’s us know what you think in the comments below.

Involve’s evidence to the PASC Statistics & Open Data inquiry

We will shortly be publishing a think piece exploring these issues in greater depth.

Leave a Reply