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Ordnance Survey

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made in enabling data held by Ordnance Survey in vector format to be used by other parties, including on a commercial basis. (240499)

[holding answer 8 December 2008]: The HM Treasury/Shareholder Executive assessment of trading funds has considered the potential for innovation and growth from increasing commercial and other use of public sector information including Ordnance Survey vector data. It will shortly publish some key principles for the re-use of this information, and consider how these should be applied to ensure that Government policy is fully reflected in practice.

As part of the assessment, Ordnance Survey is in the process of undertaking a strategic review of its operations and underlying business model. The aim is for Ordnance Survey data (including vector data) to be made more freely available for exploitation for the benefit of the wider UK economy. Further details will be announced in due course.

In the meantime Ordnance Survey will continue to enable users of all types to access a wide range of vector datasets through its normal licensing arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what income Ordnance Survey received from each local authority in England and Wales in 2007; and what percentage of Ordnance Survey’s income in that year was accounted for by work for local authorities. (240500)

[holding answer 8 December 2008]: For reasons of commercial confidentiality income derived from each local authority is not published. However, Ordnance Survey’s total direct revenue from the local government sector (including fire and police services, national park authorities and other sector bodies) in England, Scotland and Wales for the year ended 31 March 2008, was £21.26 million. This represented 18 per cent. of Ordnance Survey’s total turnover. A significant proportion of local government income came from the local authority Mapping Services Agreement (MSA), a collective purchasing agreement competitively tendered by Local Government Information House Ltd. (LGIH) on behalf of local government. Apportionment of the single charge for each data lot in the MSA tender to individual local authorities is determined by LGIH.

Since the MSA is currently subject to an active re-tendering process, release of further detailed information about the value contributed by individual local authorities could be prejudicial to the conduct of the tender process.