The government has appointed Mike Bracken (pictured) as its first chief data officer, following the launch of a set of principles designed to improve transparency in government contracts.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude revealed the new role, which Bracken will hold alongside his position as head of the Government Digital Service.
"I'm delighted to announce that Mike Bracken, who has spearheaded this government's digital revolution, will also become the government's chief data officer," said Maude.
"He is the ideal person to take our already world-leading approach to open data even further, while strengthening data analysis skills in Whitehall."
Bracken will champion the government's approach to open data access and use, and the use of data to better inform decisions across the public sector.
He has also been tasked with creating a new Government Data Standard, while leading the development of better data analysis skills and capability across government.
Julian David, TechUK's chief executive, welcomed Bracken's appointment, but warned that he needs to be careful with how the government manages data.
"In his new role, Mike Bracken will need to strike a balance between open data and inspiring confidence in the general public in how government uses their data," he said in a statement to V3.
"It's important to remember that this also includes the management of commercial business data which, if not managed correctly, could impact businesses and jobs."
Bracken's appointment follows Maude's launch of a set of principles that lay out requirements for the release of information pertaining to dealings between government and its suppliers.
The set of principles underpins the government's commitment to transparency across all departments, enabling taxpayers to see how their money is being spent.
It is hoped that this transparency will in turn encourage more accountability in public sector spending and performance.
Maude claimed that transparency is at the heart of the government's long-term economic plan.
"Transparency is an idea whose time has come. Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth and inform choice over public services," he said.
"The potential rewards are enormous - smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services - and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness."
Open data and transparency may become difficult to manage, as the overhauled European Union data protection law, currently being finalised, could see data getting increasingly locked down.
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