PM pushes transparency drive

By staff

Fresh commitments to opening up the work of government are being announced by David Cameron today.

The prime minister is seeking to push forward the government's transparency agenda after a year of opening up data to "empower citizens".

The coalition has already begun publishing new IT contracts, spending data and crime data online – and has forced local governments to publish all new items of spending over £500 on a council-by-council basis.

Now much more information relating to specific public services is to be made public in an 'open standardised format'.

The NHS will see data on comparative clinical outcomes published by the end of the year, as well as prescribing data on GPs, hospital complaints, staff satisfaction and clinical audits.

Parents will be able to view data showing how effective their child's teaching is, different courts will face scrutiny for their sentencing patterns and motorists will be able to use real-time data on roadworks and the strategic road network.

"Transparency is at the heart of our agenda for government," Mr Cameron wrote in a letter to Cabinet colleagues sent today.

"We recognise that transparency and open data can be a powerful tool to help reform public services, foster innovation and empower citizens.

"We also understand that transparency can be a significant driver of economic activity, with open data increasingly enabling the creation of valuable new services and applications."

Last November central government departments began publishing all its new spending over £25,000.

Mr Cameron said he hoped the scrutiny triggered as a result would act as a "powerful straitjacket" on future government spending.