TSO supports GovSpark project with funding and hosting

Data publishing specialist sees GovSpark as an "excellent example" of the Government Transparency initiative in action.

Thursday 30 September 2010 – TSO (The Stationery Office), the leading provider of publishing solutions to the public sector and part of the Williams Lea Group, has today announced its support for newly launched site GovSparkopens in new window, an idea devised by Isabell Long as part of the 2010 Young Rewired Stateopens in new window event in London.

GovSpark, which embodies the aims of the government transparency initiative, mixes live and historical open data from government departmental websites in order to allow people to compare energy usage via a simple and easily understood website.

Isabell came up with the idea for GovSpark because government energy data was available on widgets on each department’s respective website but not in one central, easily comparable space. Spotting the potential for GovSpark along with Rewired State founder Emma Mulqueeny, TSO has funded the full development and is hosting the site in order to give government, the general public and media a single view on how departments are performing against energy usage targets as they attempt to dramatically reduce energy consumption. GovSpark will be a valuable tool in the cross Whitehall competition to reduce energy consumption announced by the Government this week.

Richard Dell, CEO of TSO said, “We are delighted to be able to help innovative ideas such as GovSpark come to fruition, as they echo our belief in the power of publishing government data in open formats. OpenUp, our open data contest, is focused on finding ways the public want to consume this information, by getting their ideas on the use and combination of datasets at data.gov.ukopens in new window, and bringing them to life. GovSpark, is a perfect example of the government transparency initiative in action and shows how this data can be used to provide insight and information for all.”

TSO is at the forefront of working with public sector clients to open up published data in line with the Public Sector Transparency Board principles, creating tools and processes to allow data to be created in a structured way; enriching data using text engineering techniques; converting data into formats to publish as linked data on the web and providing and hosting web environments that allow both humans and machines to access the data.

Supported by a panel of influential individuals from across British commerce, TSO’s OpenUp contest will be open to submissions until 29 October 2010. Entries will then be reviewed and a shortlist of the top five will be invited to present their ideas to the expert panel in person at an evening in central London, where a development fund of £50,000 will be made available and £1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winner.