Open data is a great thing of which we have seen too little, too late, too poorly done.
Our words in evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee last year, which has been assessing the government's approach to making data freely accessible and easy to use and share - so-called 'open data'.
Today they recommended a new approach to making the government's statistics more usable. Based on a five-star rating system for assessing the openness of data suggested by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Committee is recommending the government adopt a rating system developed by Full Fact for open statistics.
This would mean a drive towards official figures that are not just published as a minimum, but figures that are also well explained with caveats highlighted, easy to find and link to, machine readable and with links to other people's data to provide context.
The Committee said:
"We recommend above that the Government adopt the "five-star" system along the lines proposed by Involve, for open data engagement. A second "five-star" rating system, developed by Full Fact for assessing the usability of government statistics, would support the efforts of statisticians to play a more active role in open data. This system should also be adopted by the Cabinet Office in assessing departmental progress on open data."
The integrity of our elections is in danger, and we need your help
You’re probably here looking for facts. Thank you for that trust. But with the EU parliament elections on the way and more elections a possibility, we need to act now to make sure our elections are protected, before it’s too late.
Could you help protect our elections by becoming a Full Fact donor?
Misinformation isn’t new, but advancements in technology mean it can spread at an unprecedented scale. Our dangerously outdated election laws have not kept up with the digital age, putting our next elections at risk of abuse.
Currently, it’s possible for a candidate to run a thousand different political ads to win the same seat, promising something different to each group it targets. At the same time, there’s no law requiring those who publish online campaigns to disclose who they are or how they are funded. The opportunity for bad actors to manipulate election results is left wide open.
You may already know about our work to make public debate online more honest and transparent. Every day, we call out the most harmful misinformation on social media platforms when and where we see it. But right now, we’re urging the government to overhaul our election laws to make sure political campaigning is held to the same level of scrutiny online as it is offline.
This work all depends on the generosity of hundreds of people who all believe that for democracy to work, we need transparency. Our monthly donors help strengthen our voice, and show our politicians that this really matters. Would you consider joining them?
Become a donor today to make sure our elections are protected.