Saturday, September 18, 2010

County Conservatives lead way on opening the books

I am pleased to see that the county council has not dragged its feet over the government's call to publish online all items of expenditure over £500 and will start on 20 September. David Cameron had already opened the national books for spending over £25,000.

It is to be hoped that the city council will follow the Conservative lead and publish their expenditure ahead of the goverment-imposed deadline of January, as we had already some time ago been campaigning to get them to do, but the local Lib Dems do not have a good track record on openness.

This is very welcome news although we will have to wait to see how well the information is represented and in what detail.

Opening the books will help council taxpayers to get better value for money and help local firms to compete for council contracts.

County Councillor John Reynolds shows that the spirit here is not just to tick the box:
We are committed to being as transparent and accountable as possible. We were one of the first authorities to publish details about our senior management pay and I am pleased that we are in the first group of councils to put this information about spending over £500 on line. We have a good national record for managing finances and we are eager not only to publish this long before the Government’s deadline of January but to eventually exceed Government expectations by publishing spending below £500 as well.

1 comment:

Theunis Viljoen said...

Let's hope that the data is published in a useable format.

BIOLAP now has details of more than 50 Councils' payments to suppliers over £500 on its free Council Expenses Dashboard at - http://www.biolap.co.uk/index.php/councilexpenses.html

Users can slice and dice, compare and sort the spending data as well as drill through to underlying transaction details.