Maude unveils wider data publishing
Plans to make more data publicly available have been branded "freedom of information 2.0" by the minister responsible for the revamp.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude launched a web consultation on how to introduce changes which will see a host of data published online, including sentences handed to criminals, hospital success rates in treating certain illnesses and more education results.
He believes the proposals will boost accountability, force bodies to become more transparent and create a culture of openness, rather than secrecy.
Mr Maude said: "We want to get away from a position where data gets released as result of pushing and pulling to a position where we drive it out to put power in the hands of the public, where we are open by default."
He added: "This is all data that should be available anyway."
The biggest recent revamp of publicly available data came in 2004 with the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, passed four years earlier, which enables anyone to ask questions of and expect answers from public bodies.
Mr Maude said: "This goes in the same direction, but will be much more open and widely available. It's freedom of information 2.0 - it's entirely complementary."
He denied the changes would lead to an information overload and said the new system would enhance Britain's reputation as the most transparent government in the world - including the US.
"We have more data available in Britain than is the case in the US and we are going significantly beyond that now," said Mr Maude.
Urging people to join the online consultation at www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk, Mr Maude said: "We want to embed this approach throughout the public service and we want to hear from people about how they think we should do this."