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Housing: Databases

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 20 October 2009, Official Report, column 1393W, on housing: databases, what annual payment is made by the Valuation Office Agency to Ordnance Survey to licence the datasets to undertake the geo-referencing; what other payments are made by the Valuation Office Agency to Ordnance Survey in relation to the work; what the total monetary value of such other payments has been to date; and whether Ordnance Survey receives any data or benefit in kind from the Valuation Office Agency as part of this work. (308385)

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is entitled to receive a variety of Ordnance Survey datasets as a member of the Pan Government Agreement, for which it contributes to a central annual payment by Government under the terms of the agreement.

In addition Ordnance Survey and the VOA have been working together to align their spatial address databases as part of their joint commitment to Smarter Government.

Under this collaboration, Ordnance Survey supplies VOA with a copy of OS MasterMap® Address Layer 2 for which no charge is made by Ordnance Survey.

VOA has two address databases covering properties subject to council tax and premises subject to non domestic rates respectively. Under the joint collaboration, the VOA provides Ordnance Survey with a copy of the council tax address data which Ordnance Survey matches to its own address database. Ordnance Survey provides the VOA with information on any corrections to the post code information held within the VOA’s council tax database, which have been identified by the address matching process. No charge is made by the VOA for supplying the council tax address data and no payments are made by the VOA to Ordnance Survey in respect of the information provided to the VOA by Ordnance Survey as a result of the address matching work it undertakes.

Following the address matching process, Ordnance Survey includes the VOA’s Unique Address Reference Number (UARN) within OS MasterMap Address Layer 2, and also within a table of cross references to others’ unique address identifiers. This cross reference table is available from Ordnance Survey free of charge.

Ordnance Survey licences the non domestic rates address data from the VOA for address matching against Ordnance Survey’s address database, on the VOA’s standard commercial terms.