On 27 March 2014, Official Report, column 50WS, I announced the commencement of the triennial review of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI), an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB) of the Ministry of Justice.
The review has been undertaken in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s guidance on public bodies and as part of the Government’s commitment to improve and make sure of the best, accountability and effectiveness of public bodies.
I am today publishing the review, which concludes that there is no longer a continuing need for the current non-statutory functions of APPSI. Government is able to seek and receive this advice on the re-use of public sector information on a less formal basis by other bodies which perform similar functions and are not set up as NDPBs. This is supported by the evidence provided in the report.
APPSI’s statutory function has not formed part of the review as it is currently under consideration as part of the Government’s transposition of Directive 2013/37/EU on the re-use of public sector information. The Directive requires an impartial review body with the ability to make binding decisions and APPSI would be unlikely to meet these requirements. APPSI’s statutory function will be replaced by new redress provisions and will therefore no longer be required.
The triennial review recommends that APPSI ceases to carry out its non-statutory functions and is abolished once its statutory function ceases to exist with transposition of Directive 2013/37/EU during 2015.
I am grateful to current and former members of APPSI for their valuable work in advising government on public sector information and its re-use. APPSI played a key role in contributing to the Government’s approach to public sector information re-use and Crown copyright. I particularly note the early development of a concept of a national information framework, reflected in the Government’s National Information Infrastructure, and APPSI’s role in developing an open data glossary on data.gov.uk.
I will place a copy of the review in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords