A year after the original complaint was lodged, two statements made on the 30th April by APPSI (Advisory Panel for Public Sector Information) and OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information) fail to provide consensus and certainly no clear way forward to the fair resolution of this dispute.
The APPSI report, which is likely to have considerable repercussions amongst re-users of public sector information, unexpectedly concludes that AddressPoint, and potentially many other PSI sources, do not fall under PSI Regulations.
APPSI have recommended that the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) should inform the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about IA's complaint which "seems squarely to engage the ordinary rules and principles of competition law....".
The original complaint lodged by IA in February 2006 was wide ranging but concerned OS's position in respect of licensing AddressPoint which prevented the subsequent licensing of the NLPG on fair and reasonable terms.
Elements of the OS position were, in IA's view, potentially anticompetitive but some also constituted breaches of the Public Sector Information Regulations (PSI Regs) and the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) guidelines. IA hoped that OPSI's intervention would swiftly resolve their difficulties with OS.
Although OPSI found in IA's favour, in their Report of July 2006, IA were concerned by two particular aspects of the review; essentially relating to the tone and lack of precision of OPSI's conclusions and relating to pricing; these concerns led to the appeal to APPSI in July 2006.
OPSI, who have stated that OS have met the recommendations made in their original review of IA's complaint will now be considering the APPSI conclusions closely. IA have written to OPSI to ask for clarification of their position and on the evidence used to come to their conclusion on OS's position.
Michael Nicholson, Managing Director of Intelligent Addressing said "We are grateful for the attention given by OPSI and APPSI to our complaint against Ordnance Survey and in their attempts to resolve these issues. We do however remain frustrated that one year on we are only a little further forward in solving the apparent injustice in the current system. As recommended in the CUPI Report from the OFT in December 2006, Government needs to bring clarity to these issues by providing more detailed policy and guidance on Public Sector Information to encourage a fair and competitive market place. The current situation leaves matters unresolved creating further uncertainty for re-users of PSI."
1st May 2007
Notes to Editors:
Intelligent Addressing is a specialist private sector consultancy (an SME) employing recognised experts in addressing. It was originally set up to help develop the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) on behalf of local government and now manages the NLPG and NSG central data hubs under the terms of the Mapping Services Agreement (MSA) with local government.
Intelligent Addressing contact:
Gayle Gander, Head of Marketing | 0207 747 3500 | E-mail: [email protected] | www.intelligent-addressing.co.uk, www.thensg.org.uk, www.nlpg.org.uk
Editorial enquiries and colour separation requests:
William Allbrook | T: 01666 826641 | F: 01666 824668