[geo-discuss] Ordonance Survey lobbying

Benjamin Henrion bh at udev.org
Fri Aug 29 09:39:59 UTC 2008


28 August 2008
Ordnance Survey: Right Out of Order

I always thought that the Ordnance Survey had a rather, er, Olympian
view of things that was more suited to the top-down twentieth century
than the bottom-up one we inhabit. Some fine FOI work by the Guardian
has confirmed that they really are as out of order as I surmised:

    An extraordinary picture of a state body carrying out political
lobbying on the issue of free data has emerged from documents obtained
by the Guardian.

    The correspondence reveals that Ordnance Survey (OS) is targeting
MPs from Westminster and devolved assemblies, civil servants and
leading figures in the free data debate. The agency openly attends
party conferences and other political events to promote the value of
geographical data. However, earlier this year a Parliamentary question
revealed that it had paid a company called Mandate £42,076.20 plus VAT
since August 2007.

So here we have a state body using *our* money to pay for lobbyists to
advise on how to stop oiks like *us* from gaining free access to the
information *we* largely foot the bill for.

The one consolation is that if they are prepared to stoop to stupid
tactics like this, they are clearly running very scared: anyone
remember Eric "pitbull" Dezenhall, another consultant brought in a
desperate attempt to stave off open access...?

Posted by glyn moody at 2:05 PM

Labels: eric dezenhall, free our data, freedom of information,
guardian, open access, opendata, ordnance survey, pitbull


zoobab said...

    I met someone from the OS lobbying Members of the European
Parliament for non-public geodata for the INSPIRE directive.

    Ordonance Survey was lobbying together with another lobbying
organisation names eurogeographics, which regroups national mapping

    The "executive" lobbying the "legislator", what a seperation of powers
    6:46 PM
glyn moody said...

    Thanks for that info - as you say, a pretty sad state of affairs...
    6:59 PM

Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion at ffii.org>
FFII Brussels - +32-484-566109 - +32-2-4148403

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