Oliver Letwin, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office in the British government, is reputed to be the intellectual powerhouse behind many of the government's initiatives. He has consistently stressed a desire to empower the populace in new ways. Haunted by the view that former Prime Minister Tony Blair failed to move quickly enough in the first term of the New Labor government that was elected in 1997, the leaders of the UK's Conservative-Liberal government are 40-somethings in a great hurry. Ideologically, the leading lights of both parties are committed to an open, from-below mode of government. World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said making public data available for reuse is about increasing accountability and transparency and letting people create new, innovative ways of using it. Government data should be a public resource, he said. By releasing it, people can unlock new ideas for delivering public services, help communities and society work better, and let talented entrepreneurs and engineers create new businesses and services.
NEWSBYTES BRIAN M C KENNA continued from page 12 I Columbia Univ
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