Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

OpenSpending, a Transparency Project to Make Government Spending Easier to Understand

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 27 2011

Spending by the Barnet Council in the UK on OpenSpending.org

The Open Knowledge Foundation today launched OpenSpending, a web application for browsing and understanding data related to spending by world governments:

The OpenSpending project will make it easier for the global public to explore and understand government spending. Our developers have already imported a range of datasets, including projected budgets from the European Union, detailed spending data from the UK Treasury, and smaller datasets such as the UK’s Barnet Council local budget.

The tool allows a visitor to see which money goes where at a glance, and then click through to explore more data about a given aspect of spending. Click through spending on schools for Barnet, a city in Greater London, and up comes another graph of spending. Want to know more about spending on primary or secondary schools? Click again and the view is replaced with details of the line-item entry on secondary schools in Barnet's budget, but that's where it stops.

One of OpenSpending's eventual goals is to make these global datasets relatable to one another. Already, entries there can be reconciled with records available on another website, OpenCorporates. OpenCorporates is a project to create a single URL for every corporation in the world — basically an index page linking each corporate entity to related entities.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

More