Data and securityGeospatial Commission names senior leaders

Geospatial Commission names senior leaders

New chairman and deputy chairman will be responsible for the work of the Geospatial Commission, supported by £80 million of new funding.

Sir Andrew Dilnot has been appointed Chair of the government’s new Geospatial Commission. Nigel Clifford has also been confirmed as Deputy Chair.

Both will take up their respective roles from 1 January 2019 for a term of three years.

They will be responsible for the work of the Geospatial Commission, supported by £80 million of new funding, to drive the use of location-linked data more productively, something the government says it will unlock up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.

The Chair of the Geospatial Commission is responsible for:

  • strategic leadership of the commission
  • providing expert, impartial advice to the government on geospatial data, including advice on prioritisation and value for money
  • building broad cross-sector support and consensus around commission recommendations
  • effectively allocating commission budgets to target high-value opportunities
  • monitoring performance of public-sector bodies responsible for delivering the geospatial strategy
  • chairing commission meetings, working with the government to ensure the commission has the right balance of skills, and ensuring the commission conforms to the highest levels of propriety
  • directing other commissioners’ input, harnessing their skills, experience and expertise
  • engaging with stakeholders, including government, industry, academia, interest groups and the public
  • representing the commission in public, including in the media and at industry events

Sir Andrew was formerly Chair of the UK Statistics Authority and was the founding presenter of BBC Radio 4’s series on numbers and statistics, ‘More or Less’. He also co-authored (with Michael Blastland) The Tiger that isn’t: seeing through a world of numbers – a study of the role and use of statistics. Nigel Clifford was previously the Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey from 2015 to 2018.

The objectives of the commission are to increase economic growth and improve social and environmental outcomes by:

  • setting cross-cutting geospatial strategy, policy and data standards
  • promoting competition within markets for geospatial data, products and services
  • improving accessibility, interoperability and quality of data
  • improving capability, skills and resources, to support the growth of new and existing geospatial businesses, and improve public services

Commenting on his appointment, Sir Andrew Dilnot said: “The intelligent use of data presents a huge opportunity to enrich our society, strengthen our economy and tackle the issues of the future.

“The potential of new technology in the geospatial domain is huge, and questions about how best to facilitate use of the data are important and fascinating. Alongside Nigel, I look forward to addressing these questions through my new role as Chair of the Geospatial Commission.”

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