Dutch Court of Audit opens its spending

Last week, the Court of Audit in the Netherlands published its revenue and expenditures as open data. The Court of Audit contributes with this to and stimulates open spending with other government bodies. The Court of Audit audits whether central government revenue and expenditure are received and spent correctly and whether central government policy is implemented as intended. It is obliged to carry out these tasks by law. Next to publishing a trend report on open data, looking at what level government agencies and departments open their data, the Court of Audit has published its own revenues and expenditures on transaction levels as open data.

The spending data of the Court of Audit is published in excel as well as csv.

Publishing its revenue and expenditure as open data was part of the release of the first trend report on how the government of the Netherlands performs on open data. Saskia J. Stuiveling, president of the Court of Audit said last week: ‘The government should take the lead in actively unlock government data. What the government knows and does with taxpayers’ money and the results achieved need to be freely available. The reuse of this data offers citizens, civil society and businesses opportunities and encourages the government to innovate and work more efficiently’.

The Court of Audit stated that it is time to put all the talk about open data into action. Open might be the norm of the cabinet, but it is not yet common practice. Also the Court of Audit stated that the supply side of open data in the Netherlands is one-sided (in particular geodata) and it provides little insights into the costs and outcomes of government policies. Open data in the healthcare sector is limited and on state level, open spending is entirely absent. Government departments still do not have a good overview of all the data they possess themselves.

See also Trendrapport Open Data (in Dutch), Court of Audit, The Hague, 27 March 2014.