Commons debates data and transparency impacts from Land Registry sale

Commons debates data and transparency impacts from Land Registry sale

Commons debates data and transparency impacts from Land Registry sale

MP George Freeman denies government has plan to privatise organisation amidst concerns about open data impact; final decision to be taken by ministry in "due course"

The Department for Business Innovation and skills (BIS) has said a decision over the possible privatisation of the Land Registry will be made in "due course", with life sciences minister George Freeman rejecting suggestions that the government has plans for making such a move.

Opposition politicians and organisations such as the Open Data Institute (ODI) have been critical of any proposed privatisation of the registry over fears it may undermine wider government commitments to open data, transparency and information sharing in the public and private sectors.

Launching its consultation earlier this year, the government has set out its preferred option for retaining ownership of an "accurate" information register, while privatising the Land Registry, a non ministerial department that records property owners in England and Wales.

With the consultation closing last month, Freeman used a parliamentary debate held on Thursday (June 30) about moving the organisation into the private sector to set out the department's current thinking about future financing of the organisation. "What would be the rationale were the government to take privatisation of the Land Registry forward? Well, I can confirm that the government have absolutely no plans for this. We have carried out the consultation and we are in the process of hearing, loud and clear, what is said," he said. The life sciences minister said the consultation had been considered as a means of determining how the Land Registry could potentially raise substantial extra investment for its operations not provided by the state.

Read Also:
Why Smart City Development Relies on Relationships

While the government had carried out the consultation to look at how Land Registry functions can be better financed and "thrive more with new freedoms", the government had no plans for privatisation or received any bids.

"No decision has been made," he said.

Opening the debate in parliament, MP David Lammy argued that privatising the Land Registry, which posted a surplus in 19 of the last 20 years and paid back £120m to the public purse, could also have serious consequences for transparency and accountability.

Lammy noted particular concern about efforts to tackle corruption particularly through the government's own acknowledgement of the role of purchasing property as a means of hiding the proceeds of criminal money.

He therefore called for the house to oppose any privatisation plans that he claimed would put short-term profit at the expense of public interest.

Noting previous consultations held during the last parliament, Lammy said, "We are aware that there is a general sense that the government are itching to privatise the Land Registry. Unlike with the 2014 consultation, this time around the status quo is not even being offered as an option.

Read Also:
Making data analytics work for you--instead of the other way around

 



Big Data Innovation Summit London

30
Mar
2017
Big Data Innovation Summit London

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
How to get started in data journalism: Takeaways from a panel at CUNY

Data Innovation Summit 2017

30
Mar
2017
Data Innovation Summit 2017

30% off with code 7wData

Read Also:
How Open Data for Science Will Transform How We Develop Revolutionary New Products, Services and Miracle Cures

Enterprise Data World 2017

2
Apr
2017
Enterprise Data World 2017

$200 off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
Open Belgium

Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

19
Apr
2017
Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
The Merging of Social Media, Big Data, Perpetually Connected Consumers and AI... Nirvana, or the End of Free-Will?

Chief Analytics Officer Europe

25
Apr
2017
Chief Analytics Officer Europe

15% off with code 7WDCAO17

Read Also:
The Merging of Social Media, Big Data, Perpetually Connected Consumers and AI... Nirvana, or the End of Free-Will?
Read Also:
How to get started in data journalism: Takeaways from a panel at CUNY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *