Supplementary Note to Questions by Ordnance
Survey (OS 22(b))
On Regulation I should have pointed out that
in addition to HMSO's regulatory control of Crown Copyright we
are subject to the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner
We believe that this, together with the influence of market forces
and the influence of such things as the Competition Act provide
sufficient controls for the time being.
73. PAN GOVERNMENT
Central Government has the potential to be a
major user of Ordnance Survey data. Within the Civil Service Year
Book over 500 Departments, Agencies, Trading Funds and associated
bodies are listed.
Currently there are 40 major central government
bodies in England, Scotland and Wales licensing data from Ordnance
Survey. Over the 12 months to October 2001, the revenue earned
from these users for licensed data has ranged from £2,731
(North West Regional Development Agency) to £3,950,000 (Her
Majesty's Land Registry) and totals £15,705,000. Six users
license data worth more than £1,000,000 per annum, while
14 others are in the range £100,000 to £1,000,000.
Within the 40 major users there are two main
groupingsthe Central Government consortium comprising 14
users and the Scottish Office consortium comprising 18 users.
There are eight one-to-one agreements with major users (eg HMLR,
Highways Agency, Coal Authority and Ministry of Defence). The
consortia and the major customers benefit from volume discounts
and enhanced support. The remainder of customers tend to licence
data in small quantities and simply pay list price. A number of
departments of state and agencies are conspicuous by their absence
as major users despite the potential for significant benefits
from the use of geographic information.
Each government customer today arranges its
own funding through its own budget mechanisms and each takes a
different set of products from Ordnance Survey.
Even simple use of geographic information systems
can unlock the potential that hides within dry tables of data.
Integration of information in a geographic context can be even
more powerful. Clusters of disease incidents, crime hotspots,
social deprivation factors, and a wide range of other applications
show the potential for geographic information to make a major
contribution in developing policies and services which raise the
quality of life, stimulate economic activity, save costs, etc.
Integrating diverse datasets and displaying
the results against a map background can clearly indicate underlying
relationships that are very difficult to determine otherwise.
Ordnance Survey therefore believes that there
should be a much greater use and interchange of geographic information
between departments and agencies and to support citizen services.
This will help modernise government and assist in meeting the
2005 e-government targets.
Against this background, Ordnance Survey has
proposed that there should be a Pan-Government Agreement which
will make a wide range of Ordnance Survey data available to all
organisations listed in the Civil Service Year Book.
Users will be able to access up-to-date versions
of any of these products at any time and interchange their own
data overlaid on Ordnance Survey material. Separate arrangements
will need to be agreed where a Department wishes to use Ordnance
Survey material for commercial purposes or for purposes that could
be seen to compete with commercial services marketed by others.
This is because Competition law requires Ordnance Survey to treat
all of its customers and partners equally where they are developing
The proposal recognises that there will be a
period of time over which new users will grow their use of geographic
information and therefore proposes a phased increase in the price
over four years. The figures are not finalised, but those under
discussion at the moment are:
To support new users and provide advice on how
effective use of geographic information can reduce costs and improve
processes, Ordnance Survey also proposes to establish a team of
up to fifteen business development staff. The costs of this team
are included in the figures of above.
To reduce the administrative burden, Ordnance
Survey believes that central funding is the most sensible way
of establishing this agreement. The Office of the E-envoy was
identified as a potential source of bidding for central funds.
Unfortunately, this avenue has been closed as the E-envoy has
higher priorities at this time and further, does not think that
Treasury will be sympathetic to a central bid of this nature.
Without central funding, departments and associated
bodies will have to continue down the current line of consortia
and one-to-one discussions with Ordnance Survey. Experience over
the past few years has shown that this would inhibit the potential
growth in the use of geographic information and therefore limit
the benefits that would otherwise be gained. In addition it would
be time consuming and inefficient.
To further improve our 1:25,000 series mapping
for the map user we have embarked on a number of changes that
will be made public in March. For a number of years the Explorer
series has been replacing the Pathfinder. This change is now in
its final stages, but market research has shown that in maintaining
the OLM and Explorer as separate series, many map users are still
very confused. In light of this, we have taken a decision to absorb
the OLM series into the Explorer series and so cover GB in a single
In the course of converting the OLM series,
changes to the areas covered by the individual maps have had to
take place, these changes are in the main minor.
most double sided OLM's have remained
unchanged in extent eg Isle of Arran;
some has been converted into two
single sheets covering the same area eg Galloway Forestpark;
some have changed their extent radically
eg Glen Coe;
whilst others, mainly in England
and Wales will have very minor changes to their extent in order
to accommodate the more detailed, and therefore larger, Explorer
legend eg Dark Peak.
1 Ordnance Survey Framework Document para 2.6.9. Back