NEW REPORT: Gaps in government data

Good morning,

Today we - the Institute for Government - have published a new report, ‘Gaps in government data: five things the UK Government should publish’.

We argue that high quality data matters for both government effectiveness and for accountability, and - despite the progress made by the UK in the last decade and its status as a world leader - serious gaps remain. We suggest five such gaps that should be filled:

  • A list of all the datasets that government departments are responsible for producing
  • More comprehensible data on government spending, including better annual accounts from government departments
  • Better outsourcing data (starting with a list of all government suppliers, and a list of all public sector contracts, using open identifiers)
  • More comprehensive performance data on public services (for example, better data on police activity, GP consultations and roads)
  • Better data on the public sector workforce, specifically turnover and socio-economic diversity.

We’ll be returning to these themes - not least in Whitehall Monitor 2019 and in a comment we’ll publish later on the Institute for Government website (which argues the forthcoming National Data Strategy is an opportunity to solve a lot of the existing problems and set ambitions for the future of government data).

Any feedback very welcome.

Many thanks, and very best