Localism Bill extends move to open data

The government has put open data at the heart of its Localism Bill, which outlines plans to give more power to local councils.

The government has put open data at the heart of its Localism Bill, which outlines plans to give more power to local councils.

Constant demands for local authority data from central government generates unnecessary paperwork, which conceals real information about the things the public actually care about, it said.

"Our approach, therefore, is to focus on outcome, not process, and to release such knowledge into the public domain as raw data - so that anyone can analyse and visualise the information, spot trends and make connections that would otherwise go unseen," added the Bill.

The move follows the government's launch of the COINS database, which details historical spending by government departments - and its decision to publish spend and tender data for all items of £25,000 or more. Starting next year, local authorities will be required to publish every item of expenditure over £500.

Real transparency means releasing the core data that public bodies use to run themselves - specifically the breakdown of what it is that government actually spends our money on, it added.

The Localism Bill will also place a requirement on local authorities to annually produce, a statement setting out their policy on the remuneration of their chief officers.

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