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March 25, 2015

Government names Mike Bracken as chief data officer

Spearhead of digitisation wants to improve data use in government.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Mike Bracken has been appointed as the government’s chief data officer, as Whitehall seeks to continue the digitisation of the civil service.

He will take up the role alongside his existing responsibilities as head of the Government Digital Service (GDS), with a mandate to encourage the use of data in government decisions.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "I’m delighted to announce that Mike Bracken who has spearheaded this government’s digital revolution will also become the government’s chief data officer.

"He is the ideal person to take our already world-leading approach to open data even further, while strengthening data analysis skills in Whitehall."

The move comes as Maude hails local authorities as open data "champions" for creating innovation, economic growth and social benefits in their communities.

London, Birmingham and Manchester were among the 16 towns, cities and counties praised by the office, which in its role supporting the prime minister is looking to build transparency in its dealings with suppliers.

"Transparency is an idea whose time has come. Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth, and inform choice over public services," Maude said.

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"The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services – and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness. These Open Data Champions are another way we are placing transparency at the heart of our long-term economic plan."

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