Members of the government spearheading the open data strategy have said the agenda is being held back due to a lack of support from other government departments, businesses and the media.
Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, speaking at an event in London attended by V3, said there are inconsistencies across government departments in how much data they are publishing.
"There hasn't been uniform enthusiasm by government departments. Some need to open the doors and let people in. We need to deal with it," he said.
Maude also acknowledged the need for departments to set higher standards in the formats used to publish information.
Certain formats, like PDF documents, do not allow data to be easily consumed or re-used, for example.
Maude also said the media could be making more use of the open data the public sector is publishing, and said it is their responsibility to use the data to show up departmental inefficiencies.
"We are pushing out the data and we're asking the media to hold us to account," said Maude.
He admitted that this could be "uncomfortable" for many politicians, including himself, but that generally this strategy would be better for everyone in the long-run.
"We are calling on the media to engage and exploit open data, to look at how different departments compare in terms of efficiency. This will help us in our job," said Maude.
Inefficient departments would be shamed by such a strategy, and this would lead to savings, he suggested.
Maude mentioned as an example, a recent IT contractor that had been exposed for charging £4m for a government project, when an alternative by a smaller supplier would cost just £50,000.
Maude noted there could be a danger that increased media interest in the open data strategy could create a "risk-adverse government", but he warned departments against being too cautious.
"For a long time governments liked to keep citizens in the dark, but this should happen no longer. None of this will be easy but the future is undoubtedly open."
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