Supplementary memorandum by Department
for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (OS 17(a))
Thank you for the letter, dated 27 March. I'm
outlining a response to your three questions below.
In respect of question 296, does "pressures
from Europe" refer to the draft legal framework? If not what
does it refer to?
Pressures from Europe may include directives,
regulations and judgements that apply in general to the public
sector but, in particular, there are three relevant European proposals
that are focused on access to public information. These include:
``Towards a EU Framework for the
Exploitation of PSI'': EC Director General Information Society
``Public Access to Environmental
Information'': EU Draft Directive;
``INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial
Information in Europe)'': EC Director General Environment initiative.
How will an EU framework for the exploitation
of PSI and the INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information
in Europe) initiative affect Ordnance Survey?
The EU Framework for the Exploitation of PSI
currently proposes that public sector information should be made
available at a price that ensures that total charges levied do
not exceed the cost of producing the information. Ordnance Survey
currently operates as a trading fund and is required to meet agreed
performance targets, including a rate of return on capital employed.
Depending on the finally agreed formulation of the EU requirement,
the EU proposals could impact on the current OS trading model.
The INSPIRE initiative currently proposes EC
legislation that aims to ensure that geographic information is
readily available for use by EC policy-makers and citizens. This
provides an opportunity for the GB-wide standards advocated by
Ordnance Survey to be adopted throughout Europe. The proposed
legislation is likely to affect the market for geographic information
and may impact on the current approach to the pricing and licensing
of Ordnance Survey data.
Was the proposed EU Framework for the exploitation
of PSI and INSPIRE considered as part of stage one of the Quinquennial
The current European proposals were not considered
in stage one of the Quinquennial Review. They will be considered
in concluding stage two and defining the best way forward for
In summary, the European developments outlined
above may affect Ordnance Survey in future, but the extent of
the impact can only be assessed as the various initiatives progress.
Sally Keeble MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
26 April 2002