Annual and quarterly budgets and spending of all 438 local governments in the Netherlands for the years 2012 and 2013 are made available, visible and comparable via openspending.nl.
This entails so-called Iv3-data of all municipalities, the quarterly and annual financial statements and budgets. This is an important milestone for financial transparency in the Netherlands. Open data, the availability of reusable and machine readable information for all, is an indispensable condition for strengthening informed citizens, increasing public participation and a well functioning local democracy.
Starting with the central borough of the city of Amsterdam in 2013, Open State Foundation launched the platform openspending.nl. In the past year, we have approached 403 municipalities, 12 provinces and 24 waterboards. Of these 439 local governments Open State Foundation received financial data, yearly budgets and quarterly spending reports of 169 municipalities, 12 provinces and 17 water boards.
Together with the city of Amsterdam and with support of the Ministry of Interior, the Open State Foundation collected financial data from 205 local governments within nine months. This influenced the Central Bureau of Statistics in the Netherlands to decide to make raw Iv3 data from all local governments available in 2015.
Important milestone, first step
Starting in the second quarter of 2015, the budgets and spendings for the years 2010 to 2014 will be made available as open data and will be visible and comparable via openspending.nl. From then on, all new quarterly and annual budgets and statements will be made available as open data. Also the data of provinces and water boards are then accessible.
Open State Foundation has shown, how in a relatively short time, many local governments have been moved to disclose financial data as open data and aggregate it nationally. In our view, the disclosure of this Iv3-information is a first step.
Research shows that there is a need for context and depth of the currently released Iv3 data. The next step is opening up all detailed financial reports of local governments, financial statements such as those discussed by political bodies, local and regional councils and financial committees.
A detailed report contains at least this type of data, but can also, according to the layout of the particular financial administration of a government, be disclosed at an even higher level of detail describing its finances. To this end Open State Foundation undertakes the pilot `Detailed financial data Groningen’ with pioneers from Groningen. In a few months we expect the first results.