For the Publius project, Professor Richard Susskind, IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, has written a timely essay on Realising the Value of Publication Information, sounding out the future of public sector knowledge:
Governments and public bodies have always been in the business of managing information - as creators, controllers, distributors, and more. Until the mid-1990s, however, most states took on only two main roles as holders of information. First, they took responsibility for ensuring that information on matters of national security was held securely and beyond the reach of potential miscreants. Second, they assumed the job of making sure that full records of public affairs were maintained, archived, and accessible to authorized persons. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a clear shift in government policy in many countries in relation to information generated from within or on behalf of the public sector. In summary, many governments have expressed a commitment to making official information more widely available.