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19 November 2010 | Lindsay Clark
The UK government hopes to improve value for money by opening up all spending of more than £25,000 to external scrutiny from today.
The government’s data website now includes details of all purchasing of more than £25,000 done between May and September by hundreds of UK public bodies, including NHS trusts, the Forestry Commission and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The published data extend over more than 100,000 lines of code and the government believes external software and research firms will be able to interpret and analyse the information to make it more useful.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “It is our ambition to make the UK the most transparent and accountable government in the world. I want the public hold us to account for what we do and, by publishing this data today, taxpayers will be able to see exactly how we spend their money. This will not always be easy but we expect the public to hold our feet to the fire and make sure that not a penny of their money is wasted.
“We’ve already released a revolutionary amount of data over the past six months, from the salaries of the highest earning civil servants to organisation structure charts, which give people a real insight into the workings of government and are already being used in new and innovative ways.
“We recognise that this is a work in progress, and some of the data we have released so far is not as detailed or as comprehensive as we would like, but we are committed to making information as readily available and easy to use as possible.”