As we enter a new PAF year there are significant changes to the way in which the database is licensed. A new generic licence will come into force progressively through the year as agreements are renewed. It is shorter, simpler and more user-friendly than previous versions. But that is not the only change. Please review the full Blog under PAF(15)11 Board Papers and Minutes.
April sees major changes to PAF licensing
As we enter a new PAF year there are significant changes to the way in which the database is licensed. A new generic licence will come into force progressively through the year as agreements are renewed.
It is shorter, simpler and more user-friendly than previous versions.
But that is not the only change. Royal Mail has also rebalanced PAF fees to eliminate the distinction between internal and external transactional pricing. The Advisory Board successfully argued against a complete switch to transactional pricing as we believe that form of
user pricing is not suitable for all circumstances. Inevitably there will be winners and losers from the price changes but the Advisory Board considers that PAF still represents outstanding value at £70 p.a. for a single user and up to £15,000 p.a. for unlimited use by one legal entity. Our impression, so far, is that the market as a whole has given the new licence a warm welcome though some of the price restructuring (notably that in favour of full PAF as against part PAF) has upset some customers and there has been confusion over the changed definition of a user which is designed to accommodate the same person accessing PAF from multiple platforms (e.g. PC, tablet, phone).
Over the next year we will be monitoring reactions and take-up of the new licences.
A second change will be the opening of the Public Sector licence (PSL) to eligible organisations that are not members of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement. Combined with the highly successful Developer Licence and the concessions for micro businesses and small charities, this is a significant step forward towards a building block for the proposed National Information Infrastructure currently under discussion.
However, public sector use is not enough. A lively PAF market requires easy and fair access for private sector bodies and vibrant private sector participation in the channels through which users can access addressing data. Royal Mail has itself recently entered the market as a solutions provider using PAF and other data to offer a new addressing product managed by its Data Services. The Advisory Board will monitor the developing situation to ensure that Data Services access to PAF is on a comparable fair basis to that of any other customer. (The same concern exists with regard to the Post Office Ltd which is now separate from Royal Mail.) Other Advisory Board initiatives for 2015/16 will be to support the independent audit of PAF quality that is now entering its second round of tests; to give particular attention to how PAF is marketed and how citizens can report updated addresses (including occupation of new build property so that their entry into the PAF can be speeded).
In all PAF related areas the Advisory Board welcomes icomment and suggestions from end-users and suppliers of software that uses addressing data. Comments can be made through this web site or using our dedicated postal address (PO BOX 57983, London W4 9AW).
Ian B Beesley Chairman
31 March 2015