Information principles

The information principles enable organisations across the public sector to become increasingly aligned in their use and management of information (both structured and unstructured), drawing on their own local strategy and practices from a common set of principles and best practices.

The principles are one output from the original government ICT Strategy.

Resource base

To support the principles, we have drawn up a resource base of extensive references and authoritative sources relating to each principle. This lists references to legislation, best practice, standards and authoritative sources of guidance related to each of the seven information principles for the UK public sector. It covers resources from within and externally to the public sector. Many of the organisations who supported the development of the principles have contributed to this.

The National Archives has agreed to host the resource base. Click on the each of the seven principles pages below to view the related resources.

The National Archives is one of many organisations that have supported the development of these principles and they have been endorsed by The Knowledge Council among other bodies.

Information is an asset which is fundamental to the efficient and effective delivery of public services.

Information is stored, managed, protected and exploited in a manner that reflects its value.

Information must be accurate, valid, reliable, timely, relevant and complete to ensure that it meets the purposes for which it is intended.

The opportunities for using information greatly increase when it is made available in standardised and linkable formats.

The value of information can be multiplied by re-use, and therefore opportunities to re-use should be looked for proactively.

Public information should be published, unless there are overriding reasons not to.

Citizens and businesses should be able to access information about themselves, along with an explanation of how this information is used.