Vanessa Lawrence

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Dr.
Vanessa Lawrence
CB HonFREng FRGS FRICS FCInstCES CCMI CGeog
Vanessa Lawrence 2012-11-23 TobiasK-crop.jpg
Director-General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey
In office
2000 – April 2014
Preceded by David Willey
Succeeded by Neil Ackroyd
Personal details
Born (1962-07-14) 14 July 1962 (age 52)

Vanessa Vivienne Lawrence CB HonFREng (born 14 July 1962) is a British businessperson and geographer, and former civil servant, who for 14 years, up until April 2014, was Director-General of the Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency.[1][2]

She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering[1] in 2008.

In January 2008, Lawrence was appointed as a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in the New Year Honours List.[2]

In April 2014, Lawrence stepped down as Director-General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey.[3][4] [5][6]Lawrence was targeted by the Cameron government as being one of the civil servants on the exceptionally high salaried list.[7] Prime Minister David Cameron in a move to improve government transparency and accountability released a list of 170 civil servants earning more than the Prime Minister himself. Lawrence at around £200,000 was in the top echelon. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, hailed the publication of the figures which followed his own earlier disclosure of £3.75bn in central government cuts of "inefficiencies and unjustifiable costs".[8]

In 2011, Lawrence was commissioned by Mr. Drew Clarke, then Secretary of the Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) to review the operations of Geoscience Australia and the government’s role in the geospatial industry. The Lawrence Report — titled "Investigation into the Spatial Capability of Australia" was released in April 2012. [9] Whilst the report gained some traction at the federal level, this was not the case at state level and with industry, as reported in the state Government of Victoria official quarterly geospatial journal "Landmark". [10]Public Sector Mapping Agencies Inc. [11]CEO Mr. Dan Paull distanced PSMA from the Lawrence Report advising ,‘not ours, not commissioned by us and not binding on us’. [12] The peak spatial industry body in Australia - the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) [13]reported that the Lawrence Report was ‘interesting but not enlightening” and had little evidence of private sector consultation. SIBA also questioned the selection of Lawrence for the review, reporting “how unsuitable OS ideas are for Australian conditions." The UK Ordnance Survey experiences, upon which Ms. Lawrence drew her experience, were not considered to be relevant to the complex federation of Australia with national, state and territory governments. Further the European Union (EU) experience under Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community or INSPIRE [14] which has not yet proven itself was not comparable to the Australian situation.These comments are registered on the SIBA industry comment site. [15] The change in Australian federal government from the Australian Labor Party to the conservative Coalition under new Prime Minister Tony Abbott in September 2013, saw the report discarded.

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Government offices
Preceded by
David Willey
Director-General of the Ordnance Survey
2000–April 2014
Succeeded by
Neil Ackroyd