The event was hosted by think tank Policy Exchange, following the publication of its report on how the government could make better use of big data in the public sector. Francis Maude gave a speech about the government’s vision for Big Data and how it could boost efficiency and improve public service delivery.
In his speech, Maude said that an estimated £37billion a year was lost across the public sector ‘through debt, fraud and error – in a large part because of our failure to share data effectively’. He confirmed that the government was to adopt world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s ’5 Star Scheme’ for assessing the usability of the data as well as appointing a privacy expert, ‘to make sure we bring in the latest expertise on privacy measures.’
Maude’s speech was followed by speeches from James Petter, UK managing director of EMC – the event’s sponsor – and Chris Yiu, head of digital government at Policy Exchange. The speeches were followed by a Q&A discussion chaired by Hetan Shah.
Shah said ‘This event shows there are real opportunities which can come from the open data agenda, but that there are a number of key issues including privacy, data quality and the capability of civil servants which need to be addressed.’