Open Government Licence
Produced in partnership with Judy Nokes of The National Archives
Open Government Licence

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Judy Nokes of The National Archives provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Open Government Licence
  • Policy context
  • A new approach to licensing
  • The UK Government Licensing Framework
  • Open Government Licence
  • Wider use of the OGL
  • Updating the OGL
  • Policy and legislative timeline
  • Evolution of open licensing

The public sector is one of the largest and most significant sources of information in the UK. Promoting the use and re-use of public sector information delivers huge economic benefits as well as stimulating democratic engagement and transparency.

The re-use of public sector information is closely aligned to the government's transparency agenda and support for open data. The development of open licensing such as Open Government Licence (OGL) facilitates and encourages re-use.

This Practice Note considers the development of open licensing, in particular the UK Government Licensing Framework and the OGL.

Policy context

In the UK there is an increasing emphasis on the vital role that public sector information plays in society, in both the public and private sector, from both an economic and social perspective.

The removal of obstacles to re-use through open licences can help deliver the following benefits:

  1. making government more accountable and approachable—replacing bureaucratic accountability with democratic accountability by making the information about the workings of government available to the public and enabling the public to hold government to account

  2. better value for money—providing an unparalleled insight into how government spends taxpayer’s money, encouraging departments to improve controls on public spending and further reduce their costs

  3. stimulating growth—enabling businesses to develop innovative new information-based products and applications using public data

  4. reforming public services:

    1. empowering citizens—giving people the information they