The province is Groningen is the first regional government in the Netherlands that has made its financial information publicly available as open data via openspending.nl. Every quarter the province will make its financial data digital accessible.
The public availability of financial information of local and regional governments is not new. Budgets and annual financial statements are available but not in an open standard. The advantage of openspending.nl is that the financial data of the province is easy to download. It can be reused by anyone, comparisons are made possible and trends can be perceived.
For the province unlocking its financial data means hardly any extra work. The data is already available since it has to report to the Central Bureau of Statistics every quarter. Since there are no arrangements for reuse of CBS data, the province has decided to make its own financial data available as open data.
Publicly available financial data is another step towards a more transparent government. In November 2013, the province launched its portal data.groningen.nl on which both the province of Groningen and the municipality of Groningen offer various datasets with information on roads, water and landscape.