The Conservative Party has published plans to kick start the economic recovery, create new jobs, and make the British government the most technology friendly in the world.
The Conservative Technology Manifesto includes plans to legislate to introduce a powerful new "Right to Government Data" that will open up government data to the public, including detailed information on government spending.
This will not only make government more accountable and enable the public to root out wasteful spending, but will catalyse the growth of innovative new business applications and companies that can make use of this valuable public data, estimated to be worth £6 billion.
Key policies include:
Legislating to enshrine the freedom of government data and create a powerful new ‘Right to Government Data’, enabling the public to request – and receive – government datasets. This will radically increase the amount of government data released – and will provide a multi-billion pound boost to the UK economy. President Obama’s administration has already implemented a ‘Right to Data’ policy.
Extending superfast 100 mbps broadband across most of the population. This is 50 times faster than Labour’s planned broadband network and would make the UK a hub for the creative industries
Publishing online every item of central government and Quango spending over £25,000 – including every contract in full. This will create new jobs by opening up government procurement to more SMEs. We will also publish online every item of local government spending over £500 – including every contract in full. In addition, detailed information on the salaries of senior civil servants and local council officials will be published online.
Creating a level playing field for open source IT in government procurement and open up government IT contracts to SMEs by breaking up large IT projects into smaller components.
We will also create a small IT development team in government – a ‘government skunkworks’ - that can develop low cost IT applications in-house and advise on the procurement of large projects.
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude said: "It is incredibly important that we get our economy moving again to get us out of Gordon Brown's recession. For too long we have endured a closed shop government - which keeps information from the public, fails to stimulate innovative industries and wastes money on bloated, unnecessary and gold plated IT projects."
"Our proposals will make the UK the most technology friendly Government in the world, introducing a right to government data, extending superfast broadband and creating a much more level playing field for SMEs."
Shadow Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt added: "Our ambition is to ensure that the next generation of Googles, Microsofts and Facebooks are British companies. To achieve this we need to ensure we have a superfast broadband structure that gives the UK a competitive advantage over other countries. Our ambitious plans will make this happen."
You can read the Conservative Technology Manifesto in full using the document reader below, or alternatively click here to download a copy in PDF format.