Examination of Witnesses (Questions 240
TUESDAY 19 MARCH 2002
240. So you would set up an independent Geographic
(Mr Roper) I believe so, which could be the Geographical
Commission, it could be combined with the office of a regulator.
It does need to be someone with a great depth of knowledge, but
I can certainly think of individuals who could do that job.
241. And that advice then would be in the public
(Mr Roper) Yes. Well, obviously there are areas of,
say, security where the Government does need confidentiality,
so there would be areas where it is confidential, but where it
relates to the regulation, the person could be in the same position
as Ofwat, or Oftel or any of these other bodies. There are obviously
areas where there is confidentiality. I would say not generally
where it is commercially confidential as I think those areas should
be more transparent, but clearly there are many areas for Ordnance
Survey which cover defence issues and security issues which have
to be private in the nature of things and that has to be a role,
could be one of the roles of this person.
242. Mr Nicholson, can you tell us anything
about the National Land and Property Gazetteer? Where is that
(Mr Nicholson) It covers the whole of England and
Wales. Scotland has agreed to join and is working on it currently,
so that about half of local government either has a local gazetteer
linked to the National Gazetteer or is working on one and, I suppose
in brief, it is growing roots. It will be used in the creation
of the National Electoral Roll, for example, which I know the
Committee was interested in.
243. So we are going to have one, if you like,
way in which you can identify where people are, organised really
by local government, and then you are going to have the mapping
side, organised by the Ordnance Survey?
(Mr Nicholson) Not strictly.
244. No, but I am trying to put it into shorthand
and I am wanting you to do it a bit more efficiently than I am.
(Mr Nicholson) Let me try to put it into shorthand.
The NLPG is a national registeran address base, if you
like, because each building typically has more than one addressso
the NLPG brings the information together so you have a single
point of reference for a building. All those addresses also have
a co-ordinate attached to them and the expectation is that we
will use an Ordnance Survey product called "Address Point"
certainly initially to provide that co-ordinate and link to the
(Mr Roper) I have a very different view on NLPG and
I would like to be able to submit a written answer to that question.
Should I send it to Sarah Hartwell?
(Mr Roper) I believe that the NLPG has got to be organically
linked to datasets held by Ordnance Survey, not to Address Point,
but I really would prefer to submit a written answer rather than
take up more of your time.
246. That is all right from our point of view,
particularly with the time pressing, if you can give us a written
(Mr Roper) I will give you a written note.
Chairman: Gentlemen, you have been very helpful
and can I thank you very much for your evidence.