Access to public sector data must never be sold or given away, and should be made open by default, according to a report on Statistics and Open Data published on 17 March 2014 by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC).
One of the report's key recommendations is that data should be made 'open' by default, ie accessible to all, free of restrictions on use or redistribution, and in a digital, machine-readable format. 'There should be a presumption that restrictions on government data releases should be abolished,' the report notes. ‘It may be necessary to exempt certain data sets from this presumption, but this should be on a case-by-case basis.' The report also said that charging for some data may occasionally be appropriate, 'but this should become the exception rather than the rule.'