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Public policy and the development of a UK national geographic information strategy

By Stephen Saxby


In March 2005 the Government published a report assessing the progress that had been made since 1999 in embracing digital technology in the UK. It declared that there had been a transformation in its use within the UK economy and civil society and that Britain had moved dramatically up international league tables in the take-up of IT and in its engagement in the e-economy. Since the Millennium, the Government has been busy re-organising its procurement and service arrangements and information channels. It has encouraged departments and agencies to embrace digital technology and to capture the efficiency gains that this can offer. New offices have been established within the reporting structures of the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury to drive these initiatives forward. They are the e-Government Unit, the Office of Government Commerce and the Office of Public Sector Information. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is also active in the management of geographic information. A key driver for these Offices is engaging with digital technology in a form that will both advance the UK economy and improve business and consumer access to information and services. This paper explores these issues in the context of one specific area of policy viz., the creation, development and exploitation of geographic information within a spatial data infrastructure. The latter raises, in microcosm, many of the issues that the Government must tackle as it develops its digital and eGovernment transformation agendas. This paper will assess to what extent the Government can be said to have clear objectives as to how it plans to develop a geographic information strategy for the UK. It also considers what needs to be done to enable the diverse range of organisations, both within the public and private sectors, to move forward in the promotion of geographic information services as a supporting mechanism to the delivery of eGovernment policies

Topics: T1, JN101, K1
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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