Draft code of practice on datasets consultation response

The Campaign has responded to the Cabinet Office’s consultation on the draft code of practice on datasets to be issued under section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act.

The response points out that the draft code itself does not explain how it will relate to the existing section 45 code of good practice for practice authorities to follow under the FOI Act, issued in November 2004. If the draft code is seen as part of, or an extension to, the existing code it raises the question of why certain issues are addressed solely in relation to datasets when the same issue arises in relation to any FOI disclosures. This is particularly relevant to the use of the Open Government License (OGL). The draft code only deals with the use of the OGL in relation to datasets although it is relevant to any disclosure under the Act.

It also states code should place more forceful emphasis on the need to adopt the Open Government License as the default basis for responding to FOI requests. Inappropriate copyright restrictions are still imposed even on non-dataset information which authorities can have no expectation of ever licensing. The code should strongly discourage this practice.

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