Diginomica - The UK has one of the most open governments in the world and is a leader in the open data agenda. Since launching data.gov back in 2010, which now contains over 20,000 public sector datasets that are free for use by anyone, it has continued to strive to release as much information as it can into the public domain.
However, new Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock has said that there is “much more to do” and that “open government needs to go viral”. Speaking at an event this week in London, which was aimed at developing the UK’s Open Government Partnership national action plan, Hancock made some interesting proposals for a new age of open government that relied on sharing information and crowd sourcing citizen advice to guide policy making.
Essentially the idea is the democratisation of forming policy, where control is taken away from the centre of Whitehall and put into the hands of the people.
My question for Mr Hancock is: will Whitehall be ready for what this means? I’m not so sure.
The open XML standard would allow police, fire, rescue, ambulance and other services to share one, single record of incidents, removing the need to enter the same information twice into their systems or telephone each other.
A pilot of the scheme in Wales managed to cut the time needed to transfer records between control rooms from four minutes to less than 10 seconds.
Ars Technica - Glyn Moody - The European Parliament today called for foreign investors to be allowed to sue the EU and member states in special new courts. This controversial proposal came as part of a non-binding set of recommendations to the European Commission on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated with the US. The new investor courts would replace the old investor tribunals employed as part of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, but would function largely in the same way.
The Register - Thanks to a 10-hour meeting, it appears that EU negotiators have done the unexpected: created net neutrality rules that keep both digital rights activists and telco operators happy.
Last Tuesday, after three months of toing and froing between member states and the European Parliament, a last-ditch political deal was pushed through on the core text of the so-called Telecoms Package.
However, as expressed by all sides, the devil would be in the detail of the recitals (explanatory guidelines for implementation). On Wednesday, those recitals were published and met with surprising enthusiasm.
April - The final draft version of the RGI (general interoperability framework), still awaiting final validation, maintains ODF as the recommended format for office documents within French administrations. This new version of the RGI provides substantiated criticism of the OOXML Microsoft format. April thanks the DISIC (French Inter-ministerial IT directorate) for not giving in to pressure and acting in the long-term interest of all French citizens and their administrations.