In England, we’re lucky to have some central bodies that support local government – we’ve just established a transparency programme across the Local Government Association group bodies LGA, LG Improvement and ESD-toolkit and also with key professional bodies SOCITM (IT managers) and CIPFA (accountancy) ahead of the requirement for all local governments to publish expenditure over £500. We have to agree some very, very basic standards (e.g. how often to report, what to redact, £500 over what period, do you group multiple invoices under £500 to a single supplier, etc. etc.) as well as having other data standards such as ontologies to support linked data (or at least mashable data) so that the information is comparable for benchmarking purposes by practitioners. But it’s not going to be an easy road. Interestingly, we’ve already had push back from the data community that we shouldn’t spend so much time on agreeing standards but more on just ‘getting it out there’…
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