UK: Negotiations on a public sector mapping service agreement, taking into account the freeing up of Ordnance Survey (OS) data, are under way between the Department for Communities & Local Government (CLG), the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Improvement & Development Agency (IDeA), said Michael Jennings, former deputy chief executive of Surrey County Council.
Jennings described the negotiations as “constructive, though not, at the time of writing, yet resolved”. In his paper presented in the meeting of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI), Jennings revealed that the intention is to build the National Address Gazetteer (NAG) into the Public Mapping Service Agreement. Discussions on technical design and organisational arrangements have been taking place between OS and the Local Government Information House Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of local government’s Improvement & Development Agency) and its commercial partner Intelligent Addressing Ltd. At the time of writing a final deal has not yet been struck, but the aim is to secure arrangements in line with the PMSA target dates.
A national address gazetteer that resolved the long-running intellectual property disputes between local government, OS and Royal Mail is close to the top of many local authorities’ wish-lists for data. In a response to a consultation earlier this year, APPSI commented that it is a national scandal that we do not have a definitive single national address register when most of the components have long resided in the public sector.
Work on a national gazetteer is now being coordinated by Defra, to comply with the Inspire directive on open access to environmental information. Meanwhile APPSI has warned local government to get better at allowing access to, and re-use of, its information.