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The Almighty Buck Government United Kingdom Politics Your Rights Online

UK Gov't Spending Details Now Online 56

krou writes "The UK government has released a treasure trove of public spending data in an effort to lift what Prime Minister David Cameron calls the government's 'cloak of secrecy.' 'The first two tranches of data are from 2008/09 and 2009/10. The Combined Online Information System (Coins) includes what departments were authorised to spend, what they actually spent and what they are forecast to spend in future.' Since the government admits that 'some degree of technical competence' will be needed to use the files, they have asked the Open Knowledge Foundation to help make it 'more accessible,' and have also promised 'more accessible formats' by August. The datasets can be downloaded from data.gov.uk." And on a similarly happy note, reader mccalli writes "Bletchley Park's archive is to be digitised and put online. It seems HP made an offer to help out with scanners and expertise, and the result is that these texts will be made available to all."
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UK Gov't Spending Details Now Online

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  • Re:Splendid (Score:2, Informative)

    by Wowsers ( 1151731 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:54AM (#32467772) Journal

    When the new coalition speaks of all things being open, I don't think the people were thinking about their private details being among the information being "open".....

    Private medical details open for all to read via the NHS copmputer system [dailymail.co.uk]

    A controversial database of personal health records will continue to be rolled out despite Government pledges on civil liberties. Campaigners accused the coalition of a U-turn over a system they say people are bullied into signing up to and is too hard to opt out of. The Tories insist they never made a commitment to end it. Director of Big Brother Watch, said patients should be told the truth about its drawbacks and, like ID cards, it should be scrapped. This is a disgraceful U-turn by the coalition. The Government wants us to believe that they are serious about privacy and civil liberties - this is their first test and they have failed it.

    Private tax information [dailymail.co.uk] being used illegally by the public sector workforce.

    More and more town hall bureaucrats have been caught snooping on private details held on a giant 'Big Brother' tax and benefits database. Instances of unlawful hacking of the Customer Information System, which belongs to the Department of Work and Pensions and holds the personal records of 85 million people, have increased sixfold in a single year to more than two a week. Council staff have looked at accounts belonging to their friends, family members, neighbours and even celebrities.

    Quick pop quiz on the second article. There's 65 million people in the UK, so why are there 85 million tax records?

  • by jabithew ( 1340853 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:56AM (#32467778)

    This is raw data, not a spending report. We also have spending reviews; before the general election they were on the HM Treasury Site but now they've been archived [nationalarchives.gov.uk]. Without the legal requirements for clarity associated with private sector financial reporting, civil servants are able to hide key data in impenetrable waffle. It is also a rather different kettle of fish to the US; our government is ludicrously centralised and almost all spending is from Whitehall. The report is thus so broad in scope as to almost be meaningless. It also makes wading through this raw transaction data much more daunting.

Happiness is twin floppies.