How Cit­i­zens are ensur­ing imple­men­ta­tion of Gov­ern­men­tal Spend­ing

Back­ground

Every year, gov­ern­ments draw up finan­cial bud­gets to chan­nel the use of tax pay­ers’ mon­ey in all sec­tors of the econ­o­my. In some coun­tries, detailed reports are also pro­vid­ed how these funds were appro­pri­at­ed while in oth­er coun­tries, such infor­ma­tion is regard­ed as state secret thus paving the way for cor­rupt prac­tices. In Nige­ria for exam­ple, a  clos­er look at the 2017 bud­get revealed that sewage col­lec­tion in a sin­gle gov­ern­ment build­ing increased by 765% with any clear jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. With the avail­abil­i­ty of open data, start-up com­pa­nies, jour­nal­ists, finan­cial insti­tu­tions and data enthu­si­asts are now able to inde­pen­dent­ly track gov­ern­ment spend­ing. How can this be achieved and how can the process be made more effi­cient and accu­rate?

Datasets used

Bud­get infor­ma­tion is usu­al­ly pro­vid­ed in a long ver­bose doc­u­ment that can­not be eas­i­ly under­stood by ordi­nary cit­i­zens and are not machine read­able for analy­sis. A data dri­ven com­pa­ny in Nige­ria, Budg­IT, rec­og­nized that it can achieve more trans­paren­cy for cur­rent and planned projects with open data records to sup­port com­pa­nies in align­ing their strate­gies with gov­ern­ment spend­ing. To achieve this, datasets such as his­tor­i­cal fed­er­al and state finan­cial bud­gets, infla­tion rates, tax rev­enues, gov­ern­ment rev­enues, debts, loans, and record of actu­al gov­ern­ment expen­di­ture are used.

Adva­neo Data Mar­ket­place

Such a large set of finan­cial infor­ma­tion are not read­i­ly avail­able from a sin­gle source. Gath­er­ing such data will involve an exhaus­tive search from var­i­ous gov­ern­ment por­tals such as min­istry of finance, sub­mis­sion of Request for Infor­ma­tion (RFIs) from var­i­ous oth­er sources. The Adva­neo data mar­ket­place offers:



Cat­e­gorised Datasets: We pro­vide over a mil­lion datasets from var­i­ous gov­ern­ment por­tals and glob­al eco­nom­ic data. Each dataset has been processed to ensure they lead to valid acces­si­ble data end­point and have been cat­e­gorised for eas­i­er access.



Closed User Groups: Data min­ing, sort­ing and cor­re­la­tion tasks can­not be effi­cient­ly done in iso­la­tion. The Adva­neo data Mar­ket­place pro­vides the option to cre­ate closed user groups where pre­lim­i­nary find­ings or datasets can be shared first with col­lab­o­ra­tion part­ners.



Secu­ri­ty and Pri­va­cy: Finan­cial data could some­time be clas­si­fied as crit­i­cal data espe­cial­ly if it pro­vides insight to inter­nal invest­ment plans or strat­e­gy of com­pa­nies. The Adva­neo data mar­ket­place archi­tec­ture ensures datasets pro­vid­ed by com­pa­nies remain pri­vate to the com­pa­ny as there is no repos­i­to­ry of such datasets on the mar­ket­place.  Exchange of data occurs direct­ly between a provider and user ensur­ing data sov­er­eign­ty and gov­er­nance by the data provider.

Impact

Track­ing gov­ern­ment spend­ing not only pro­vides more trans­paren­cy with how tax pay­ers’ mon­ey has been pro­duc­tive­ly uti­lized, but also leads to bet­ter bud­get per­for­mance and pre­vent cor­rupt prac­tices. The data, which is avail­able on a sin­gle data mar­ket­place, will help com­pa­nies to reli­ably plan future busi­ness steps.

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Your Con­tact: Jür­gen Bret­feld