Thursday, May 19, 2005

HMSO becomes The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

There is a new website at
"The Office of Public Sector Information is at the heart of information policy, setting standards, delivering access and encouraging re-use of public sector information. We provide online access to UK legislation, license the re-use of Crown copyright material, manage the Information Fair Trader Scheme, maintain the Government’s Information Asset Register and provide advice and guidance on official publishing and Crown copyright"

The OPSI has the lead for the UK implementation of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 which come into force on 1st July 2005. There is a useful case study available as well as other advice and guidance.

Further reading: Aligning the FOI and PSI Initiatives in the UK (Version 2.0)

Key obligations under the Directive
Standard Licences
You will be required to be transparent and open about the terms of re-use you offer and any re-use fees you may charge. Where licences are required, you should use standard terms and conditions. To help you, we have produced some example licences which you may adapt for your own use.

Copyright and Licensing Arrangements
It will help re-users if you provide accurate notices and statements on your documents and websites. This will focus on copyright ownership and arrangements for re-use. To help you, we have produced some examples which you may adapt for your own use.

Asset Lists
You will be required to produce an asset list so that potential re-users of your information know what is available for them to re-use. This asset list should include both published and unpublished information that you hold. OPSI is currently developing a model for the next generation Information Asset Register (IAR) that will enable public bodies to easily identify information assets that are available for re-use. More information on this will be available shortly.

Transparency and Fairness
You will be required to be transparent and fair in the way that you process applications to re-use your material. Our Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) has been set up to help you meet this obligation. The current scheme involves a formal verification to show compliance which will not be appropriate for most organisations. Therefore, we are developing a simplified self-assessment scheme, details of which will be published later this year.

You will be required to be open about how users can complain about the service they receive from you. You should publish details of your complaints process

Also see Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information

(Thanks to Sue)

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